Harvest of the Month for Early Childhood Education: Parent Perspectives

Christine Lux, Brianna Routh, Lacy Stephens
2020 Journal of Human Sciences and Extension  
The purpose of this research brief is to report on the impact of Harvest of the Month (HOM) for Early Care and Education (ECE) at home to better understand parent perspectives and influences on children's nutrition behavior. Harvest of the Month (HOM) is a farm to school programming strategy that features a locally grown food in at least one nutrition and agriculture lesson, taste test activity, and a snack or meal recipe each month. This exploratory study used a survey research design to
more » ... rch design to gather parent perspectives during pilot implementation of HOM for ECE during the 2017 – 2018 school year. The survey was delivered electronically. Twenty-one parents from a campus-based preschool program in the northwest United States reported procurement and consumption of HOM foods at home. Findings suggest that a variety of HOM foods are being served and consumed at home. Parents in this study placed more importance on knowing where food comes from rather than serving local foods. Further, parents' knowledge of farm to ECE, reported food purchasing at farmer's markets, and participation in community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs were limited, suggesting a need for continued targeted parent education that could have a positive effect of families' healthy eating.
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