Montebello KinderCare in Suffern, New York, recently had one very healthy party — a Grow Happy celebration with green beans, carrots, granola and other wholesome treats on the menu.
“Every month is a different author study,” explains Center Director Tricia Mendez. “This month it was broader and we went with a food theme, and we tied that in with the Grow Happy initiative.”
KinderCare’s Grow Happy initiative encourages children, staff and families to make positive food and exercise choices.
May’s books are themed toward healthy eating, while lessons and projects reinforce the theme. Each class was assigned a different book and did a project based on it that is being displayed in the hall.
“All the books this month were geared toward food; all the projects were about food. Universal Pre-K did Stone Soup and wrote out their own recipe,” shares Tricia.
Ms. Jodi and the Pre-K A classroom hosted the Friday, May 16, festivities where the children had a blast picking which fruits and veggies they wanted to take home from the farmers market in their very own hand-decorated shopping bags. They also engaged in Yoga and Yogurt, Healthy Bingo and the all-time-favorite: Junk Food Jim and Healthy Harry food toss.
“The children were so excited to toss the yummy healthy food into Harry’s mouth and the junk food into Jim’s mouth,” says Tricia.
The center is further helping children think about good eating habits and healthy ways by having them come up with 100 Ways to Grow Happy. Each class received 10 paper apples. The children are challenged to come up with ways to be healthy and happy (such as yoga, played tag, ate a nutritious snack) and then write them on the apples. The apples are then placed in the lobby along with other projects as inspiration to others, and so parents can always see what the kids are doing.
“Keep an eye out for our growing wall of apples!,” says Tricia. “As the classrooms continue to Grow Happy, the teachers will track all of the things they are doing for the month. We are well on our way to 100 apples!”
For more on Grow Happy, visit the KinderCare Grow Happy blog.