Farm to School covers more than just K-12.
The California Farm to Preschool Initiative (CAF2P) builds connections between early childhood education (ECE) providers and farmers to strengthen the Farm to Preschool movement in California. There are many successful Farm to Preschool programs throughout the state and the CAF2P brings these programs together to connect and share resources.
Farm to Preschool programs support the local economy through the development of meaningful relationships between preschool/ECE programs, families, and local farmers. Farm to Preschool also improves children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables while expanding their knowledge of and desire to eat healthier foods. Over 60% of children five and younger are in some form of childcare on a regular basis (Iruka & Carver, 2006). These children attending out-of-home childcare or preschool also consume the majority of their meals in these environments (Whaley, 2005), meaning that ECE environments are playing an increasingly influential role in forming young children’s food habits (Briley & McAllaster, 2011). It is also well established that early eating habits determine future preferences (Birch & Fisher, 1996). The strongest predictor of what foods are liked at age 8 is what foods are liked at age 4 (Skinner et al, 2002), and these trends continue throughout childhood and into adulthood influencing long term health . For these reasons, the CDC has embraced Farm to Preschool as a promising obesity prevention strategy.
For more information and resources on Farm to Preschool visit the Farm to Preschool website.