Nibble with Willow introduces young children to fruits and vegetables through the bunny puppet character, Willow. This gentle bunny loves her fruits and veggies, and is the happiest when she can engage the children she meets to learn all about them.
The program is very tactile, using large magnifying glasses for children to explore raw fruits and vegetables, and children track their daily progress of the different fruits and vegetables by color.
Developer/Author: Lynn Fredericks & Mercedes Sanchez MS. RD, FamilyCook Productions
Editors: Beth Hartell, MS, Peartree Nutrition & Alissa Wilson, PhD, MPH, RD, Pepsi Co and Janene Ping, Hawthorne Valley Farm School
- Pilot Tested
Pilot study in Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) center in Ewing, NJ was conducted in 2010-2011.
This curriculum has 12 monthly lessons that focus on different seasonal fruits or vegetables. Lessons aim to increase children’s acceptance of unfamiliar foods by introducing them to a new fruit or vegetable and engaging them in a tactile way. Children take easy recipes home to their parents, which help support efforts to cook the healthy fruits and vegetables that children explore in the classroom. Lessons are taught using puppetry, props, posters, and other fun teaching tools.
Different versions are available for WIC clinics and Preschools/Head Start. The preschool version is the same as the WIC curriculum, but include additional recipes strategies and ingredients to allow for weekly lessons.
To use this program, sites must first purchase a license. Visit the licensing page to understand what the purchase of a license includes and licensing requirements.
Willow also requires that at least two instructors from each site complete a 3-part training certification before conducting the program. While two parts of the training can be completed remotely, a one-hour, hands-on knife skills session with fresh vegetables requires trainees to be present at their site for a chef who will come to teach all site staff being trained. If a trained nutrition professional completes the training, the two instructor requirement is waived.