Carver County SHIP Newsletter | October 2017

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Carver County Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP)

Preschoolers Learn about Healthy Eating Through Hands-On Activities

Childcare Garden Site
Children at Linda Poikonen’s site enjoyed watering the garden using their own kid-sized watering cans.

This spring, eight home-based child care providers spent their Saturday learning how to promote and provide more healthy eating options to the infants and children in their care. The training, Early Sprouts, is a nutrition curriculum designed to get preschoolers to eat more vegetables by growing, harvesting and preparing organically grown foods. Two volunteers from the Carver-Scott Extension Master Gardener program also presented on how to start a raised bed garden and harvest produce all season long.  Carver County SHIP funded the training as well as garden supplies for the attendees to plant their own gardens.

Each participant went home with a 2x4 foot cedar raised bed and a gift card to the Mustard Seed at Halla Nursey to get their garden started. The Mustard Seed, a local business, has been a supporter of SHIP for several years, and they assisted providers in purchasing seeds, plants and soil for the new gardens.  The providers used their new skills to plant, harvest, and prepare vegetables with the children.

Carver County SHIP staff visited six of the garden sites to collect stories and evaluations late this summer. Dawn Minor of Dawn’s Daycare said, “The kids have enjoyed the process of gardening and watching the vegetables grow. Most have tried the vegetables we picked so far!” Many providers offered the vegetables through taste testing activities which encouraged the kids to try new foods.

Over 225 Kids Participate in the Power of Produce (PoP) Club!

Power of Produce Club Kids
Everett and Malone show off their PoP Club purchases—a melon and Brussels sprouts.

The SouthWest Metro Chamber of Commerce partnered with Carver County SHIP to start the Power or Produce (PoP) Club at the Chaska Downtown Farmers Market this summer.

The PoP Club is a farmers market incentive program for kids ages 4-12. Each week, kids get a two dollar token to spend on fresh vegetables, fruits and food plants from local farmers. The program aims to promote healthier eating behaviors among children, support local farmers and increase family attendance at farmers markets. SouthWest Metro Chamber staff signed participants up and passed out tokens at 11 market days this summer.

PoP was a great success during its first year. Over 225 kids used tokens to purchase various types of produce, including Brussels sprouts, melons, strawberries, carrots and more from 11 local vendors. Molly Wolf, a parent of two participants, said, “We have loved this program. It has been an incentive for us to come down on Wednesdays” and purchase other items from vendors.

Chanhassen High School Celebrates Walk and Bike to School Day

Chanhassen High School

On October 4, Chanhassen High School students and staff participated in Walk and Bike to School Day- a movement that is gaining momentum nationwide.

Walking and biking to school provides a great way for students to increase their daily physical activity. Events, such as the one at the high school, promote activity in a fun and engaging way.


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