Wellness and Nutrition Program: Promoting Healthy Eating and Active Play
At Persimmon Early Learning, we provide children with well-rounded, quality child care. Since 2017, our Wellness Program has incorporated increased physical activity and nutrition education into each day. We work alongside local farms, Boulder County Public Health, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to achieve this goal. We bring instructors to teach yoga and other classes like music and dance into our classrooms. Our staff Wellness Coordinator teaches all the nutrition classes as well as most of the physical activity classes.
Our indoor and outdoor learning areas for each age group provide plenty of space for active play. In good weather, children spend as much time outdoors exploring nature as possible. Our newly remodeled outdoor spaces were each designed to be age-appropriate and offer all the learning benefits of an indoor classroom.
Persimmon Early Learning Parent
Persimmon Early Learning Preschooler
What do we provide?
Carter Angel, our nutrition coordinator, cooks all the meals and snacks in our newly remodeled kitchen. Chef Carter works hard to provide scratch-to-table, simple whole foods and to limit refined sugar and processed foods on our menu. We incorporate our menus into the nutrition lessons throughout the week.
Some of the children’s favorite recipes include:
Blueberry Beet Muffins
Hawaiian Wrap (broccoli, carrot, chicken)
Sun-butter Berry Bagels
Fruity Chocolate Yogurt Bowls
Blueberry French Toast
Roasted Corn and Avocado Wraps
Cheesy Broccoli Muffin Bites
Red Cabbage Quinoa Wraps
Zucchini Noodles with Red Cabbage and Red Bell Pepper
Turkey Stroganoff, Roasted Shishito Peppers, Farm Fresh Salad, and Red Apple Slices
Strawberry Rhubarb Quinoa Pudding w/ Dollop of Yogurt
Pancakes with Banana sauce (we also had Basil peach sauce!)
Sun-butter Chocolate Berry Whole Wheat Bagels
Persimmon Early Learning teaches the importance of fruits and vegetables by implementing fun, hands-on nutrition activities like gardening, cooking classes, taste testings, field trips, farmer visits, and meals and snacks. Now is the time to develop food preferences in children so they can learn to make healthier choices in the future!
Did you know it can take trying a food 10 times before a child may like it? Our program provides children the opportunities to do this with a variety of foods. They begin to feel empowered by their bravery and ability to step out of their comfort zone!
Ellyn Satter, registered dietitian and author, can teach us the appropriate way to feed our children. Please check out the website for great resources! Links to other resources can be found at the bottom of the page.
Our newly remodeled outdoor spaces will host our gardens this year. We are getting excited for the growing season as we begin to build and prep our gardens! We will have three garden beds on the infant playground, three on the preschool playground, and two on the toddler playground. This year we plan to plant a variety of beautiful flowers, tons of vegetables, and a few fruits, including a variety of tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, lemon balm, lettuce, lavender, bell peppers, basil, and forget me not flowers. We hope to send the families home with some fresh Persimmon produce over the summer and fall.
In addition to healthy and tasty fruit and vegetables, we grow plants that are colorful and fun (and safe) to touch, to provide opportunities for sensory exploration for our infants and toddlers.
Every day we provide our toddlers and preschoolers with at least 30 minutes of structured physical activity. Fitness activities develop and improve motor skills, coordination, language and listening skills, physical ability, social skills, spatial awareness, and overall health and wellness.
Yoga helps children find a sense of calm, acknowledge emotion, and improve their ability to self-soothe. Classes with our consultant yoga instructor help children develop their motor skills by learning to move their bodies in a new ways.
Our field trips expose children to new learning environments. These trips can include harvesting, planting, learning about the garden or farm, observing farm animals or bugs, and nutrition lessons. We love using these trips to show the kids where our food comes from!
Past field trip destinations include Growing Gardens, Ollin Farms, Boulder Farmers Market, Anderson Farms, Miller Farms, and High Street Hives.
In addition to the physical activity classes and nutrition education we partner with many other teachers and organizations to create a fun and unique learning environment. Examples include:
Music class with Mr. Scott!
Ollin Farms giving a presentation on fruits, veggies, and farming!
Due to COVID-19 we explored new ways to continue our wellness education through fun and entertaining cooking videos! Carter and Tori walk through a few recipes for families to try at home with their kids.
Persimmon Early Learning parent
- Farm to ECE: https://www.bouldercounty.org/families/pregnancy/child-health-promotion-program/farm-to-ece/
- CHOP (Cooking up Healthy Options with Plants): https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/cacfp-chop
- CACFP (Child and Adult Care Food Program): https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/cacfp-resources
- BFR (Boulder Food Rescue): https://www.boulderfoodrescue.org/
- HEAL (Healthy Eating Active Living): https://www.bouldercounty.org/departments/public-health/healthy-eating-and-active-living/
- Master Gardeners: https://cmg.extension.colostate.edu/