How can you connect the children in your care to gardens this summer? Children love to touch, smell, feel and taste new fruits and vegetables while learning how they grow.

Team Nutrition is an initiative of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service to support child nutrition programs through training and technical assistance for foodservice, nutrition education for children and their caregivers. Team Nutrition offers evidenced-based curricula that educators can use to integrate garden-based nutrition education lessons into core educational subjects, such as math, language arts and science. Child care (centers, homes and sponsors) that participate in USDA’s child nutrition programs may request free printed copies of nutrition education materials. Resource Order Form

The Learning Center (TLC) in Charles City is one of 27 child care centers who participated in Iowa Team Nutrition’s Healthy Habits Start Early program. The project included Team Nutrition’s Grow It, Try It, Like It, a garden-themed nutrition education kit to encourage children ages 3-5 years to eat more fruits and vegetables. The kit introduces children to three fruits (peaches, strawberries and cantaloupe) and three vegetables (spinach, sweet potatoes, and crookneck squash). TLC Director Pam Ost states, “We have seen what it means to Grow It, Try It, Like It. Children have seen healthy habits and choices that make it easier to be active, satisfied and inquisitive. The children also loved getting their hands dirty and deciding whether they liked the new food or not.”

Use Team Nutrition resources to teach children where their food comes from and get them excited about eating more fruits and vegetables. Healthy habits take root when kids are young!

Stay connected with Iowa Team Nutrition and Iowa CACFP on Facebook @IowaCACFP. Please contact for more information.


Tags: nutrition , healthy habits , fruit , vegetable , USDA , Team Nutrition , CACFP , gardening

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