I really looked forward to the excursion of the dairy and apiculture (bee keeping) farms. When I reflected on the way home after visiting both farms I realized that nutrition and education for children was the theme for the day. The dairy farm is owned and operated by Ana who took it over from her grandfather. She chose to stay small, go organic, and find new avenues for customers. Ana’s passion for the farm, made it priority to keep it small and share with the locals. She found her calling towards supplying to the local schools with her products. She talked with great pride in her voice while she told us the story when she recently went to deliver some products to a school (which she normally does not do). All the children were in the playground when she pulled up and all the children ran over excitedly cheering for the yogurt she was supplying to them.
Similarly to Ana at the dairy farm, Ramone at the apiculture farm also is very active with the children in their community. Years ago, when his son was in school, he had the opportunity to have his son’s class come and see the bee’s and learn about them. After that day, local schools wanted to share the experience as well. During the school year, they have students there everyday for field trips.
Photo credit: Lindsey Miossi
I have been babysitting since I was 11 years old, was a nanny for almost 9 years, and work I in a daycare. Being a caregiver to children for more than half my lifetime, it is amazing to see how these two local businesses share their products and knowledge with the local schools. Due to children not having the ability to choose, purchase, and make their own foods they are forced to eat what their families make for them. Teaching children about where our food comes from, what nutrients are inside, and how to prepare it is really important. As Dr. John Coumbe-Lilley said in class, “education makes you responsible.” When children learn about food they get excited to eat new things and want to share what they learned with their families. This is really important because it will encourage healthier eating at home with their parents. It is surprising how many people do not cook or read nutrition labels. Roughly 50 percent of people say they read nutrition labels and people with a high school degree or less pay very little attention to them. Almost a third of Americans do not even know how to cook. This can cause a lot of bad habits to start and will be difficult for the children in the future to change.
I come from a family where both my parents prepared home cooked meals 6 out of 7 nights a week and we regularly discussed food nutrients and importance of balancing all food groups. This excursion was very nostalgic for me because it made me miss my job and family back at home. When I go back to the states I would like to try and encourage more nutrition education to the daycare and children I babysit for. I always try and do fun activities with the kids and I plan to incorporate cooking and nutrition.