The Village Table curriculum contains 10 lessons that build upon one another to teach healthy lifestyle and eating habits. The primary focus is nutrition and healthy foods, however, we touch on physical activity, sleep habits, and food origins as well. In addition to healthy eating, physical activity and sleep are two behaviors that help children grow and be healthy. Understanding where our food comes from can have a positive impact on children’s eating behavior.
Village Table Lessons
Each lesson contains a circle time discussion, themed song, four hands-on or craft activities, and two movement activities. Depending on the amount of time teachers have, lessons can be completed in one day by picking and choosing activities to complete, or the lesson can be completed throughout the week by repeating the circle time and song, then selecting a different activity each day. The primary objectives of each lesson can be effectively met either way.
Because there are numerous styles of child care centers, we wanted to provide a variety of activities and options, allowing centers to select what is best for their children and school. Some lesson activities include optional materials and/or alternatives, allowing centers to adapt lessons to their budgetary need.
Village Table Activities
In effort to reduce the cost, activities were developed with classroom materials in mind. On some occasions, special items may be recommended but can often be substituted with traditional classroom materials or materials provided through the curriculum, such as food images. All activity sheets needed can be downloaded and printed for free or colorful versions can be purchased through the Village Table store.
Talking points are included in each activity and circle time discussion. As children are working on their activity, teachers should discuss these points to reinforce the learning objectives. Circle time discussions also include visual cards to increase understanding of learning objectives.
Preschool is a prime time to encourage the love of learning. The Village Table activities incorporate math, science, language, reading, fine motor, and gross motor development skills. We support learning through play and exploration.
All craft, hands-on, and circle time activities include an optional book. These books are recommended to foster a love of reading and enhance the lesson, but are not required. All lesson objectives can be met through circle time discussions, use of talking points, and completion of activities.
We believe that it takes a village to raise a healthy, growing child. Both child care centers and families play a large role in this process. This nutrition curriculum incorporates a family take-home sheet. At the completion of each lesson, teachers should send the Family Fun sheet home with the children. This informs parents and caregivers about what their child has been learning and provides ways they can continue this learning at home. Family take home sheets can be downloaded and printed for free or colorful versions can be purchased through the Village Table store.
Village Table also develops a monthly nutrition newsletter that will continue to encourage healthy behaviors for families. We equip parents with knowledge and practical advise regarding nutrition in the home. Child care center teachers and/or directors will be emailed this newsletter on a monthly basis to distribute via email to their families.
Meeting National Health Education Standards
The Village Table nutrition education curriculum is not a full fledged health curriculum. We meet the following National Health Education Standards.
Standard 1: Students will comprehend concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention to enhance health.
Indicator 1.2.1- Identify that healthy behaviors impact personal health.
Standard 2: Students will analyze the influence of family, peers, culture, media, technology, and other factors on health behaviors.
Indicator 2.2.1- Identify how the family influences personal health practices and behaviors.
Standard 5: Students will demonstrate the ability to use decision-making skills to enhance health.
Indicator 5.2.1 – Identify situations when a health-related decision is needed.
Standard 6: Students will demonstrate the ability to use goal-setting skills to enhance health.
Indicator 6.2.1 – Identify a short-term personal health goal and take action toward achieving the goal.
Standard 7: Students will demonstrate the ability to practice health-enhancing behaviors and avoid or reduce health risks.
Indicator 7.2.1 – Demonstrate healthy practices and behaviors to maintain or improve personal health.
Indicator 7.2.2 – Demonstrate behaviors that avoid or reduce health risks.
Standard 8: Students will demonstrate the ability to advocate for personal, family, and community health.
Indicator 8.2.1 – Make requests to promote personal health.
Indicator 8.2.2 – Encourage peers to make positive health choices.