|Reviewers Comments: ||The Harvest of the Month program is a series of 12 monthly lessons with the goal of exposing participants to new fruits and vegetable and encouraging them to increase their consumption of a variety of fruits and vegetables. Physical activity is also incorporated into each monthly lesson.
Harvest of the Month was developed using the Social Ecological model as a framework. The program as a whole was designed to be implemented in a variety of areas: classroom, cafeteria, home, and community.
The four key components of each month’s lesson are:
- Educator Newsletters – A series of twelve newsletters include activities designed to expose students to a new fruit/vegetable. Some information in each letter is specific to California. Users from other states could excluded this or substitute it with information from their state.
- Family Newsletters – These twelve one-page newsletters are designed to involve families in the program. General nutrition and health information, tips for providing more fruits and vegetables, recipes, physical activity ideas, and selection and storage tips are included.
- Menu Slicks – Two-sided hand out with an area for school cafeterias to insert their monthly menus. Each slick includes activities and information on the nutrition and health benefits of the month’s fruit/vegetable.
- Press Releases – Two-page press releases can help to encourage community participation. Press releases include nutrition information on the fruit/vegetable of the month, sections for districts to insert their own information, and statistics on how the produce supports California (users from other states could exclude this information).
Twelve posters are also available to be ordered to provide a visual display of the monthly produce that is featured.
The Harvest of the MonthTraining Corner page includes many materials that can be downloaded and used to successfully train site coordinators, teachers, child nutrition, staff and more.
Implementing Harvest of the Month in would involve cooperation between many stakeholders. If this program can’t be implemented fully, the elements and activities could be used separately to accompany other nutrition lessons or as stand-alone education tools. The Web Links section of the Harvest of the Month Web site has links to many resources that could complement the program.