For many, Halloween is the kickoff Holiday to a season of overindulgence, filled with candy, cookies, and an abundance of tasty foods. The focus of the Eat Well, Play Hard lessons this October has been on smart snacking and eating a variety of vegetables. I shared some tips with parents on how to have a healthier Halloween- eating a hearty meal before trick or treating, getting out and walking house to house in a safe neighborhood rather than driving, and talking to their kids about moderation when eating candy. Healthy Halloween snack recipes were shared with all of the classrooms so they could make spooky treats that aren’t made of pure sugar.
Superhero Salad made an appearance to do a vegetable lesson right before Halloween, dressing up as a vegetable superhero helped get the children excited about trying new foods. These foods are introduced away from meal times so that the children can explore the textures of food- creamy avocado, crunchy peppers, soft spinach, in a nonthreatening way. The accompanying parent lesson focused on making quick and easy homemade healthy salad dressings (and salads too!) I got a lot of great feedback from parents saying their children come home and tell them that they got to touch, smell, taste and hear (the crunching) of various vegetables. At the parent lessons, we have been collectively brainstorming about nourishing snacks, or “mini meals” that give children the energy and nutrients they need to grow healthily. Our cooking activities give parents the hands on experience to try new recipes with some interesting kitchen gadgets (spiralizer anyone?!) and best of all, they get to take the ingredients home to make it again for their families. All in all it has been a very successful month!
About the Grantee
Center for Family Resources is a private, non-profit agency dedicated to meeting the educational needs of income eligible children and their families from Passaic County. Head Start provides comprehensive services in the areas of education, social services, nutrition, and mental health. We also assist families to obtain health and dental services.