Just like learning to read or how to ride a bike takes lots of practice, young children need to practice trying new foods. Kids need a food education. Some food education naturally happens at home, but we know that school is a big part of a kid’s day and it’s a perfect place where they can learn about food too. That’s why we created Dr. Yum’s Preschool Food Adventure, a researched-backed curriculum that’s proven to positively impact attitudes and behaviors around new foods. Here’s why you should bring it to your child’s school!
1. Kids learn about new fruits and vegetables with all of their senses.
Learning about food isn’t just about tasting. In each lesson, students get to learn what a food looks like, how it grows, which nutrients it’s a good source of, how it smells, what it feels like, and more! All of these different types of sensory exposures help kids to be more familiar with the food they’re learning about and also makes it more likely that they may try a taste.
2. Preschoolers get involved in the cooking process.
Cooking is fun and can increase a child’s interest in food. Each lesson includes a recipe kids make with their teachers and classmates. They get to measure, pour, tear, chop, and stir while working together to make something delicious! All the while they’re learning important life skills. Plus, you can make an easy transition from cooking in the classroom to helping with meal prep at home.
3. They are exposed to a wide variety of foods.
Each month, kids get to learn about the featured fruit or vegetable, but that isn’t all! They’re also learning about and experiencing all of the other ingredients in that month’s recipe. From exploring each ingredient individually during circle time to making and tasting the final recipe, kids get lots of opportunities to experience many different foods.
4. The program encourages adventurous eating and the joy of trying new foods for the first time.
Trying new foods doesn’t have to be scary. It can actually be really exciting! When kids get to learn about a new food and experience it with all of their senses, they’re more likely to try that new food. Being exposed to food in a classroom environment can make a difference too, because kids get to explore new foods together and help each other find the fun in trying something new!
5. Many ingredients show up in multiple lessons.
You know how important it is for kids (and grown-ups) to try a new food multiple times. Dr. Yum encourages students to “practice” trying foods. It can take many exposures to a new food for our taste buds to adjust and for us to learn to like that food. With that in mind, we’ve designed the lessons so many ingredients appear multiple times. The featured fruit or vegetable from a few months ago might be an ingredient in this month’s lesson. This means kids have several chances to explore a food and they get to try it prepared in different ways.
6. Kids learn how food affects their bodies.
In each monthly lesson, kids also get to learn about the nutrients in the featured fruit or vegetable and how each nutrient, or superpower, can help their body. Teaching kids about nutrition can make them more likely to try new foods and because the featured superpowers show up again and again from lesson to lesson kids get many opportunities to reinforce what they’ve learned.
7. It makes mealtimes enjoyable.
For many families, mealtimes are anything but fun. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way! The principles teachers and parents learn from the resources we provide, combined with what children learn from the monthly lessons, can help take the stress out of mealtimes and make food fun again! In the end, we want our kids to love food and have healthy eating habits when they grow up. When children learn about different foods, get involved in the cooking process, and experience the fun that food can bring, they are more interested in food and enjoy food more. Dr. Yum’s Preschool Food Adventure gives them a chance to do all of this and gives them a strong foundation that parents and teachers can build on in the years ahead. Even better we have the research to prove that after nine lessons students enjoyed food more, refused food less, were more interested in trying foods, look forward to mealtimes and MORE!