Tatiyana Lipinka, Brooklyn Child Care Inc., Brooklyn, NY
A lot of children think they don’t like vegetables.
Prove them wrong through by showing how much fun it is to grow, eat, and play with veggies!
How She Did It
At Brooklyn Child Care, Tatiyana has created the equivalent of an immersion program about healthy eating, particularly vegetables. She and the children grow a variety of veggies in their indoor and outdoor gardens. The children observe the growth process, counting the leaves and drawing their observations. And of course they cook together, menu items like vegetable soup or veggie pancakes.
Tatiyana loves music, and perhaps the most unusual element of her program is the way she marries vegetables with music. She asks each child to go grocery shopping with a parent or guardian and select a vegetable—usually a zucchini or cucumber—to be turned into a musical instrument. Tatiyana helps the children hollow out their vegetables. She considers the activity both fun and educational because it gives the children an opportunity to use their kinetic and tactile skills. They touch the vegetables and feel the liquid inside. They smell them and experience their textures. Tatiyana then takes the hollowed-out vegetables and inserts a kazoo into each. And voilà!—a preschool-aged kazoo band is formed.
The initiative helps connect children and parents around healthy eating habits. Says Tatiyana, “It is important for us to work with parents and support them in buying vegetables and encouraging children to eat more healthy, non-processed food.”
On Karen’s Wish List
Not a thing.