Date of Award

Fall 7-31-2018

Degree Type

Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Nutrition

First Advisor

Jessica Todd

Second Advisor

Abbie King

Third Advisor

Gina Cook

Abstract

The demand for early care and education facilities for young children aged zero to five years old is growing at a rapid rate. In regard to early age nutrition, research tells us that a young child’s food preferences develop within the first few years of life as an infant transitions from eating one food to a multitude of foods with varying flavor profiles. The conversation of early care and education facilities becomes even more prevalent. With the understanding of a young child’s influential years, early care facilities have the ability to target these young years and help influence dietary preferences in a healthy, engaging, and positive way. For this capstone project, four Harvest of the Month kits will be created to be used in Early Care and Education settings with four to five-year-olds. These Harvest of the Month kits will be correlated with Georgia’s Department of Education’s kindergarten through twelfth grade Harvest of the Month resources. Each kit will combine a locally grown Georgia fruit or vegetable, recipe to prepare the seasonal produce, nutritional activity to tie in learning, children’s literature connection, handout to send home, and a local procurement handout. The goal of these kits are to provide a hands-on learning experience to enhance children’s knowledge of fruits and vegetables through activities and literature connections, allow them an opportunity to try new fruits and vegetables through taste testing, and empower them in the kitchen through recipe creations.

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