Since 2012 the YWCA has provided healthy meals and snacks from our Rainbow in My Tummy Program for our children in our Child Care, After School, and Drop-In Child Care. Rainbow in My Tummy was created by the Verner Early Learning Center and is a way to help child care centers feed their children healthfully while still adhering to government guidelines. We stick to whole grains, mostly fresh fruits and veggies, lean proteins, and low fat dairy. Almost all of the food that comes out of our kitchen is made from scratch by our stellar kitchen staff every day. Read “A Day in the Life of the Rainbow In My Tummy Kitchen” here.
Now, we’re proud to announce that we will be running SNAP Ed programming starting this fall, making us the first implementing agency in Western North Carolina! SNAP Ed is a grant designed to get Nutrition and Physical Activity education to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) recipients, as well as the general public.
As part of SNAP Ed our Nutrition Coordinator, Alex Mitchell, will run Color Me Healthy, a nutrition and physical activity curriculum, with our 3-5 year old Child Care students. Summer Camp students will get to participate in a physical activity curriculum and participate in regular food and nutrition activities as well. We will also hold events for our parents to learn how to make good nutrition and physical activity choices at home.
“Nutrition and physical activity education is so important to start early, and SNAP Ed funds will give us the chance to provide these lessons,” says Alex. “I’m personally excited to get to interact with our kids and families more, and to teach information that they will then take out of the YW and into their homes and communities.”
Do you have an idea for what we should call this “snappy” new work at the YW? Email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org!
The 3 year-old classroom in the YW’s Child Care recently learned how to make kale chips… and they loved them. We think you will too!
Ms. Alex, our child nutrition coordinator, came by the class in the morning to tell the children all about kale. The children got to smell and touch the raw kale… some even went ahead and tasted it! They received their own bowl of kale leaves, and carefully removed the stems. Ms. Ashanti and the other teachers helped them dress their kale with oil and salt. Then Ms. Alex baked the kale while the children had lunch and napped.
The children loved eating the crispy, crunchy, salty kale at snack time. It went fabulously with some freshly baked corn bread.
- ½ pound kale
- 1 tbs of olive or canola oil
- ½ tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees
- Wash and dry kale, remove thick stem in the center of the leaves. Chop or tear kale into bite-size pieces about the size of potato chips.
- Using a cookie sheet, lay out parchment paper or baking mat.
- Toss kale pieces with olive oil and salt
- Spread kale in one layer on the cookie sheet, make sure leaves aren’t overlapping.
- Pop in the oven for 10-15 minutes, flipping/stirring/rotating halfway through.
- Serve fresh out of the oven.
The YWCA of Asheville’s History of Nurturing Children*
The YWCA of Asheville, with a mission of eliminating racism and empowering women, has supported women and families in many ways over the past 106 years. An ongoing focus of the organization has been to nurture children.
The YWCA has offered various types of child care throughout its history. In 1924, CampKenjocketee, a summer camp for girls, was run by the Central YWCA. In 1954, the YWCA Young Wives Club offered child care during its meetings. A supervised playroom was made available to YWCA members in 1966.
The YWCA Nursery began serving children in its “Drop-In Child Care Center” in 1973. Soon after, the YWCA received $60,000 in grants to form five family day care homes with 5 children in each, the first in this community. In 1981 YWCA started its teacher workday/snowday care and “Mothers Morning Out” program.
Today, the YWCA’s 5-star rated Child Care Center provides a safe, caring environment for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. The curriculum includes academic readiness, an appreciation for diversity, and age-graded activities. Individual portfolios for each child show that the youngest are reaching the early developmental benchmarks, and the oldest are ready for Kindergarten. Parental involvement in the Center is highly encouraged. Foster Grandparents are also very active in the Center.
The multi-cultural center has space for 75 children ages 6 weeks to 5 years old. It is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 am – 6:00 pm. Two meals and a snack are provided daily. Swimming lessons and field trips are also offered. Buncombe County vouchers are accepted.
We currently have openings in the 4 & 5 year old room of our Center. For more information, call Director of Child Care Wanda Harris at 254-7206 x 109.
* One in a series of blog posts about YWCA of Asheville history.