Home Child Care Provider
December 16, 2016
As a pre-vet major, Kim Jackson never imagined herself as a child care provider. After helping a friend with their child care home twenty years ago, she hasn't looked back. While watching the kids grow and reach life milestones, Kim has a feeling of accomplishment because she was there to influence them along the way, and this continues to motivate her as a provider today.
Like many child care providers, Kim felt that quick, pre-made meals were the best way to make sure the children in her care were being fed. When a friend introduced her to the idea of serving homemade, fresh food, she wanted to try but was not convinced it was going to work.
Only five years later, about 90% of the food served consists of fresh fruit and vegetables, and using all-Iowa products has become a passion. Kim now knows she can not only serve fresh food, but can succeed in serving her kids with the most nutritious meals possible.
Leaving a basket out of a variety of carrots and allowing children to examine them is just one way Kim gets the kids involved in their own nutrition. Homemade applesauce and pear butter are fun recipes the kids have assisted with. They have their own garden, visit the local farmer's market and help with food choices.
"Growing and learning with homemade, fresh food will help you make healthy choices as you go through life."
During family-style meals, Kim has noticed the kids now eat more of the nutritious choices than they did when they started out. It is a change, but the kids are now used to the foods and like them more. It is an evolving process, but can definitely be accomplished!
From Osceola, Iowa, Kim has been a CACFP participant through Clarke County Extension HP since 1996.