3AGENDA What is Share Our Strength®? What is Cooking Matters? Goals of the toolkitReview simple food & nutrition concepts that kids need to start learning before kindergartenOverview of toolkit : Activities and relationship to early learning objectives
4Innovative corporate partnerships Mission: Share Our Strength® works to end hunger and poverty in the United States and abroad by mobilizing industries and individuals, and creating community wealth, to promote lasting change.Priority: Ending childhood hunger in America by connecting children with the nutritious food they need to lead healthy, active lives through the No Kid Hungry campaign.State & city campaignsPublic awareness, outreach & advocacyCommunity investmentsStrategy:Made possible by fundraising platformsInnovative corporate partnerships
5About Cooking MattersShare Our Strength’s Cooking Matters has been teaching families how to get the most nutrition out of a limited budget since 1993.Since we began we’ve taught:More than 6,000 coursesMore than 70,000 familiesThe ConAgra Foods® Foundation and Walmart are national sponsors.Chef instructors provide hands-on training in each lesson.For more information, visit
6Cooking Matters®: Partners Across the Country 34 programsin 28 states& DCICCurrently, programs are run through 28 partnerships in 23 states and the District of Columbia. With support from the ConAgra Foods® Foundation and the Walmart Foundation, we plan to expand to 30 partnerships in 25 states by the end of 2011.Discuss history of early CM in Finger Lakes Region.UPDATES (Jan 2012):*added: Idaho, Kentucky, Arkansas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, VA, SC*moved WV*got rid of Maryland34 programs in 28 states and DC with South Carolina?
7Child Care Professionals Lead Partners Offer Our Signature Courses in Their Service Areasand Through Satellite PartnershipsEnglishEnglishSpanishSpanishChild Care ProfessionalsTeensKids
8Cooking Matters EXTRA…supplements to Cooking Matters for Adults DiabetesParents of PreschoolersWellnessEnglishSpanish
9And now, our new kid on the block… Stand-Alone Tools from Cooking Matters!And now, our new kid on the block…Find all of our tools here:
10The Ultimate Goal of the Exploring Food Together Toolkit Is To Get HERE… Healthy kids, enjoying a variety of healthy foods……but how do we get there?
11Toolkit GoalsHere’s our plan!Help young children develop the taste for healthy foods while having fun andGive teachers and parents ideas for food-centered activities they can, and will want to, do with young children over and over again.
12Toolkit Goals: Exploring Food with Kids…It’s Basic! For young children, even some common foods are exotic…it’s an adventure to open up a pumpkin and squish the seedy pulp! Children eat what they LIKE, and they learn to like foods through repeated exposure in a positive context. At the same time, they need to start building a foundation for later nutrition education experiences.
13Toolkit Goals: Repeated Exposures to a Variety of Healthy Foods
14Toolkit Goals: Learning Basic Food Concepts Consider the pumpkin……..or the pepper
15Basic Food Concepts: Young Children Can Begin to Learn… What does a certain food look, smell, feel, and taste like and what is it called? (Food identification & tasting)How do we buy this food? Where is it found in the market? (Food purchasing)How can I fix this food to eat? (Food preparation)Where does this food come from? (Food origins)Do other families eat this food? If they do, how do they fix it? When do they eat it? (Food culture)
16Our Criteria for Toolkit Activities Simple to prepare and doUse inexpensive materials or what’s already on handAmple opportunities to taste new foodsRelate to other curriculum goals (HighScope, The Creative Curriculum®, other)Can be repeated many times using different foods or increasing the level of challenge
17Toolkit Overview: Lesson Plan Components Nutrition education & early learning objectivesMaterials listsRecommended books to begin activityPreparation & setupActivity instructionsReminder to end with food tasting whenever possible!
18Toolkit Overview: Food and Food Source Picture Cards We suggest that you print several copies and laminate these cards for repeated use.If you prefer realistic food art, you can download food photos, clip pictures from magazines, or take your own photographs of local foods! Again, you’ll be using these cards many times, so lamination helps preserve your work.
19Toolkit Overview: Food Identification and Tasting
20Toolkit Overview: Food Identification and Tasting Fruit and Vegetable Mystery BagPreparation:Place a whole fruit orvegetable into a brownpaper bag (or clean sock).
21Toolkit Overview: Food Identification and Tasting Fruit and Vegetable Mystery Bag InstructionsWith Kids:Have the child(ren):feel the fruit or vegetable in the bagdescribe the characteristics of the food that they can perceive through touch, and…try to guess what it is without peeking Repeat with other fruits or vegetables if desired.Follow up with taste test!
22Toolkit Overview: Food Identification and Tasting Fruit and Vegetable Mystery Bag InstructionsExamples of Questions to Ask:Does this food feel hard or soft?Does this food feel smooth or bumpy (or rough, scratchy, etc)?Does this food feel warm or cool?Does this food feel wet or dry?Does this food feel bigger or smaller (than some other food)?
23Toolkit Overview: Food Identification and Tasting Fruit and Vegetable Mystery BagEarly Learning Objectives:Describing and classifyingComparing and contrastingNamingShapesTextures
24Toolkit Overview: Food Identification and Tasting Your Veggies, Your WayPreparation: Cut up raw or cooked vegetables. Wash herbs (could also use spices: cinnamon, ginger, curry, etc).Activity: Have children pluck (and chop) herb leaves. Mix herbs with veggies in separate bowls, labeled with index card.Have children taste each variation and “vote” for favorites by putting a sticker on the index card of the one they liked best.
25Toolkit Overview: Food Identification and Tasting Your Veggies, Your WayEarly Learning Objectives:Describing and classifyingComparing and contrastingNamingColorsFine motor skillsIdentifying preferences
26Toolkit Overview: Food Identification and Tasting Name That FoodPreparation: Cut into bite-size pieces 3-5 fruits, vegetables, or whole grain foods that may be unfamiliar to kids. Reserve one whole form of each food.Activity: Ask children to describe characteristics and name of each food, then have them taste their portions.After tasting, let children “vote” for their favorite by putting a sticker on the index card corresponding to the whole form of the food. Discuss why it’s their favorite.
28Toolkit Overview: Food Purchasing Supermarket Hot and ColdPreparation:Set up “grocery store” area in the classroom, with different sections for foods such as produce, dairy, meats, canned foods, dry goods, bakery items, etc. (OR…visit a grocery store or farmers market)Select 8 foods the children will look for and prepare picture cards for each food.
29Toolkit Overview: Food Purchasing Supermarket Hot and ColdActivity:Using the picture cards, discuss the food characteristics, and have the children search for them at the “store”. Tell them when they’re getting “colder” or “warmer” then “hot!”.As each food is located put a sticker on the child’s shirt and ask whether child has eaten it, where it comes from, etc.When possible, have a food tasting!
30Toolkit Overview: Food Purchasing Supermarket Hot and ColdEarly Learning Objectives:You fill them in this time!1.2.3.
31Toolkit Overview: Food purchasing Kids at the “supermarket” in their classroom !
33Toolkit Overview: Food Preparation Imaginary CookingPreparation: Make or find a picture of an easy- to-prepare food that children are familiar with.Activity: Have children describe the steps in making the food. They (or adult) can draw pictures corresponding to steps.Role-play the steps and refine the process if necessary (e.g., you need to break eggs before they are scrambled!). When possible, follow up by preparing the food together.
34Toolkit Overview: Food Preparation Make Your Own Fruit Clown FacePreparation: Wash and cut fruit. Set out yogurt for dip in a bowl. Assemble a “clown face” as an example.Activity: Have children make their own Fruit Clown Faces.Discuss names and characteristics of the different fruits.Pass around the yogurt dip and let everyone eat their creations!
35Toolkit Overview: Food Preparation Make Your Own Veggie Super HeroPreparation: Wash and cut veggies. Set out dip in a bowl. Assemble a “Veggie Super Hero” as an example.Activity: Have children make their own Veggie Super Heroes.Discuss names and characteristics of the different vegetables.Pass around the dip and let everyone eat their creations!
37Toolkit Overview: Food Origins Food Origins GamePreparation: Put up pictures of a cow, a chicken, and a plant (or for increased challenge, plant parts) in separate places/walls of the room. Have other materials (food packaging or pictures) on a table.Activity: Have the children work together to decide where each food comes from and then place the picture or packaging next to the appropriate source picture. Best done to music!Gently correct misplaced items and discuss.
38Toolkit Overview: Food Origins We Eat Tops and Bottoms!3 Activity Options, All Beginning with:Preparation: Obtain a copy of Tops & Bottoms by Janet Stevens, or plan to use one of the alternate books listed in the activity directions.Make (and if possible, laminate) picture cards using food pictures provided or photos from magazines.Activity: Begin by reading the story (alternatively, have the children recall what they have seen in the school garden or on a field trip). Follow the specific instructions for the chosen activity.
39Toolkit Overview: Food Origins We Eat Tops and Bottoms!Tops & Bottoms PosterPreparation: Make (and if possible, laminate) picture cards using food pictures provided or photos from magazines. Be sure you have approximately equal numbers of pictures of foods from plants that grow above and below ground. Attach a large piece of paper to the wall, with a horizontal line representing the soil surface.Activity: Have the children tape the pictures above or below the line.
40Toolkit Overview: Food Origins We Eat Tops and Bottoms!Tops & Bottoms, Heads & ToesPreparation: Make (and if possible, laminate) picture cards using food pictures provided or photos from magazines.Activity: Hold up the cards one at a time and have the children touch their hands to their heads if the foods grow above the ground (“tops”) and touch their hands to their toes if the foods grow below the ground (“bottoms”).
41Toolkit Overview: Food Origins We Eat Tops and Bottoms!Tops & Bottoms Movement GamePreparation: Make (and if possible, laminate) picture cards using food pictures provided or photos from magazines. Designate an area of the playground or other space large enough for movement as the “Tops Area” or “Bottoms Area”.Activity: Hold up the cards one at a time and have the children move into the appropriate area (running, skipping, etc).
43Toolkit Overview: Food Culture What food culture do you most identify with?It’s not always about ethnicity!Example: 1960’s health food
44Toolkit Overview: Food Culture Exploring Tables Around the WorldPreparation: Choose a book about food & culture. Collect appropriate items for serving foods, table decorations, and clothing.Activity: Read the book. Prepare food together related to book. Dress up and eat the meal or snack together.Best: Involve parents in planning the activity and preparing and sharing food from their own cultures. Teachers can share their food cultures as well!
45Additional Recipes Banana Pudding in a Bag Bow Tie Pasta with Zucchini SauceChocolate Strawberry French ToastGuacamoleMini-PizzasOrange Oatmeal PancakesPeanut Butter and Banana PocketsTuna BoatsVeggie WrapYogurt Parfait
46How can this toolkit be used in early childhood settings? Activities with children in preschool classrooms and during home base socializationsHome visitors using these activities during home visits to show parents fun ways they can explore food with their childrenShared with center-based parents at parent meetings, as a workshop focusing on helping children eat well, or choose one activity to share as an “icebreaker” at successive parent meetings.
47Planning to use the toolkit Special points to consider:How can parents be involved in these activities? (Bringing food packaging, helping prepare other materials, assisting with field trips, sharing cultural foods…and more…)How can activities be adapted to be more or less challenging, meeting the needs of the children in your group?Can the recipe prepared be part of a CACFP-reimbursable meal or snack?Take note of how the toolkit activities fit within your overall curriculum structure and document accordingly!
48Planning to Use the Toolkit If you have any questions about the Exploring Food Together toolkit or other Cooking Matters tools and curricula, please feel free to get in touch with Chris Berman, Manager of Early Childhood Programs at Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters:Thank you for completing this training!
49with generous support from Walmart. Exploring Food Together was developed by Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters™with generous support from Walmart.Cooking Matters is nationally sponsored by the ConAgra Foods® Foundation and Walmart.For more information visit