We are pleased to announce “Doctor Yum’s Preschool Food Adventure,” an interactive curriculum designed to introduce preschoolers to the joy eating fruits and vegetables! This curriculum was written by Nimali Fernando, MD, MPH, a Virginia pediatrician and founder of the nonprofit “The Doctor Yum Project,” and Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP, a feeding specialist, certified speech language pathologist, and owner of My Munch Bug. We also have a team of contributors in children’s health, education, and public health. Artwork and layouts were designed by Fredericksburg, VA artist Ashleigh Buyers.
The curriculum includes 9 lessons which are presented by preschool teachers once a month. Using two fun characters, Doctor Yum and My Munch Bug, each lesson presents a seasonal fruit or vegetable, explains their nutritional benefits to preschoolers, and guides them through preparation of a simple snack using the featured item. Lessons are designed to tap into preschoolers newly emerging academic and developmental skills, like language, numbers and fine motor skills and apply them to ideas about healthy eating. Teachers are provided materials with helpful tips and ideas on how to engage preschoolers in a healthy diet. There is also very helpful information written by Melanie Potock on overcoming some of the challenges presented by selective eaters, with fun ideas which can be applied to preschoolers of all types. Some of the lessons even tie into a musical track from Melanie Potock’s wonderful CD, “Dancing in the Kitchen.”
Parents are also provided materials like a parent manual with information on how to introduce healthy eating to preschoolers at home. After every lesson the teacher provides a feedback sheet to parents which explains how their children explored the fruit and vegetable using all of their “senses.”
CLICK TO SEE PART OF A SAMPLE LESSON.
This program is currently being piloted in eight Fredericksburg, VA area preschools with at least 150 participating students. The partipating schools are:
Fredericksburg United Methodist Church
Frederickburg Baptist Church
King George YMCA
St. Mary’s Preschool
Fredericksburg Cooperative Preschool
We are currently writing the materials for year two of this two-year curriculum. For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.