Elwood’s Little Einsteins

July 15, 2010  • 

Elwood’s Little Einsteins is a small preschool in Long Island, NY that is doing big things when it comes to learning about food and cooking.

With a curriculum focused on hands-on learning, cooking has been a core part of their program for several years. “Children are learning math skills such as weighing and measuring, as well as temperature, through cooking activities,” says owner Joanne Sannito. “They are also learning to work in groups, improve social skills and take pride in their accomplishments. Cooking entices children to try new things, especially because it’s something that they’ve created.”

The preschool also invites a “community helper” to visit the school each month to talk about their profession. In addition to a fireman, policeman, dentist and a visit from a local animal shelter, the kids learn about healthy foods and exercise from a nutritionist and jazzercise instructor. “It’s very important for childcare programs, as well as schools, to incorporate healthy eating into their programs,” adds Joanne.

This spring, the preschool expanded their food and cooking curriculum by adding a fruit and vegetable garden. Joanne reports that the garden is doing quite well. “We are growing tomatoes, strawberries, cucumbers, bush beans, peppers, basil, parsley and – Oh! – the zucchini are tremendous and we can’t pick them fast enough! The best part about our garden is that the children enjoy caring for it and tasting what they grow. It’s a great way to introduce them to new fruits and vegetables and the different ways to enjoy them.”

For an additional example of how to incorporate healthy food choices into a preschool or daycare setting, check out another one of Yum-o!’s How Cool Is That? features, “Ms. Jana” and the Laconia Early Learning Center.