This Alaska Farm to Early Care and Education (ECE) Supplement brings together educational resources that reflect the cultivated and indigenous bounty of the geographically diverse state of Alaska. From our pristine coastal waters, the rich glacial soils of our farmlands, on to our forests and wetlands, and ending with the berry speckled abundance of the tundra, Alaska is a unique place filled with endless educational possibilities. The Division of Agriculture hopes this supplement will be valuable tool as you educate Alaska’s littlest eaters and explorers.
To help further the growth of your Farm to ECE program, please check out the self-assessment module provided by Go Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (NAPSACC). Go NAPSACC is the efforts of childhood obesity prevention researchers and public health professionals to treat and prevent health disparities in young children. This module will assist you in prioritizing, planning, and taking action in your Farm to ECE journey.
The Alaska Go NAPSACC program can provide one-on-one coaching and resources to help implement great Farm to ECE activities at your childcare site. Learn more at GoNAPSACC.dhss.alaska.gov.
How to Use this Supplement
The above table of contents outlines what resources you will find in each chapter. There is a variety of information, activities, and lessons within each resource, so it’s encouraged to read though each resource and see what it has to offer. The resources are presented as either PFD files or website links. Right click each one to open it. And most importantly, enjoy the exploration these resources bring to the children in your family childcare homes or centers.
Information on incorporating garden-based education, farm field trips, and ideas for simple educational and age appropriate activities and resources to incorporate into you family childcare home or center that are unique to Alaska.
Alaska’s Native people have rich traditions of using plants and animals to sustain and thrive in Alaska’s challenging climates. From the ocean to the tundra, here you will find information on how they have and continue to live off the land; with lessons and activities to help educate and incorporate these long-held traditions in an early care education setting.
Alaska’s relationship with salmon, trout, halibut, sheefish, and a wide variety of other species reaches back millennia and into present day. Long part of Native Alaskan’s diets, fish are a healthy addition to any diet and a strong part of Alaska’s economy. In this chapter, you will find resources to help children connect with all the reason fish are an integrated part of Alaskan’s lives.
There is so much diversity in the way Alaskan foods can be prepared. It is well known that exposing children to a wide variety of foods growing up can help them discover new tastes they enjoy and make healthier choices as adults down the road. Here you will find Alaska centered recipes to entice and excite the littlest eaters.
Alaska is a big state with lots of opportunity for the procurement of local foods or other resources. Here you will find guidance and links on seasonal produce availability, farmer’s markets, purchasing seafood, apps, commercial resources, listservs, and other helpful items.
Farm to School resources from around the state and the country. Familiarity with these sources with serve you and your childcare center well.