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. This September we are starting our third school year with 25 schools joining the Adventure!!
This year the curriculum will feature 18 lessons (which can be presented over 2 years) which are presented by preschool teachers once a month. Using two fun characters, Doctor Yum, Coach Mel 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 Coach Mel on overcoming some of the challenges presented by selective eaters, with fun ideas which can be applied to preschoolers of all types. Doctor Yum and Coach Mel are also co-authors of the upcoming book, Raising a Healthy, Happy Eater: A Parent’s Handbook, available October 20.
One of the goals of the Preschool Food Adventure is to continue a food education at home. Parents of each preschooler are 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.” This year we will adding a monthly newsletter to help parents continue the adventure at home, give tips and recipes and even help families identify when a child may need additional help with feeding
CLICK TO SEE PART OF A SAMPLE LESSON from our 2014-15 curriculum. This year we are updating lessons to include more developmental activities and will include in each curriculum some helpful tools like FunBites, ezpz Happy Mats and kid-friendly “Dog Knives” from Kuhn Rikon.
CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR NEWSLETTER which shows the kids in action for the first half of the 2014-15 school year.
This program is currently being piloted in Fredericksburg, VA area. The partipating schools for our 2014-15 school year were: