Weather Forecast


Pre-schoolers take a field trip

Avery Pederson, left, and Makenna Skinelen work on preparing their healthy snacks at the Becker Market on Thursday. Tribune photo by Kyle Rozendaal

WILLMAR — A YMCA day care group of pre-schoolers took a field trip Thursday to the Becker Market in downtown Willmar to learn how to prepare healthy snacks and about the benefits of eating healthy foods and working hard.

Carla Pederson, a Willmar Senior High School graduate and career preK-12 educator, had two banquet tables set up at the Becker Market with coloring pages, plastic placemats for the preschoolers to take home and carrots to munch on while she animatedly read the children a story.

“My passion is to assist children academically through scientific, evidence-based initiatives that promote healthy eating and physical activity to increase their learning,” said Pederson in a recent interview. “Research continues to demonstrate the direct link to academic success when healthy eating and physical activity is incorporated into the school day.”

To promote healthy eating, Pederson presented the group of preschoolers with a workshop in which the students prepared snacks following an easy recipe that Pederson created for her children’s cookbook “Lil Sprouts.”

The children clearly enjoyed listening to the story and building their snacks, but it appeared there were mixed reactions when it came to eating what they had created. However, the overall reaction was positive, even if most of the preschoolers pawned off their broccoli to the adult leaders.

“It is the first time we’ve ever done something like this, but I think it went well,” said Pederson on Thursday who seemed pleased with the reaction that the preschoolers had to the carrots and whole wheat bread.

“It was so fun!” said preschooler Paul U’Ren as he finished his snack and ran to play with a toy train set.

Another session was held for any child who wanted to try making a snack for free.