For FOOD SERVICE PROVIDERS
Check out these ways to raise awareness of HOTM and get students excited about eating tomatoes!
Blurb for your school newsletter or menu:
Harvest of the Month promotes a different Massachusetts-grown crop each month in school cafeterias across the state. With help from Massachusetts Farm to School, our school cafeteria will include produce from local farms throughout this school year. September’s crop of the month is TOMATOES, which will be featured in ___(dish)___ on __(date)______. To learn more about Harvest of the Month, visit http://www.massfarmtoschool.org/hotm/.
Recipes for school lunches:
- Pasta Salad with Grape Tomatoes & Broccoli (Now We’re Cooking: Minnesota Public Schools)
- Peak Season Ratatouille (Chop Chop)
- Spinach Salad with Grape Tomatoes (Iowa Dept. of Education)
- Tomato and Cannellini Bean Soup
- Black Bean, Corn, and Tomato Fiesta Salad
- Southwestern Lentils
- Quinoa Salad
- Tomato, Basil & Mozzarella Salad
- Gyro-Style Pita with Ground Beef, Tomato, Mint, and Onion
- Fresh Tomato Salsa
- Roasted Tomato Sauce
- Tomato and Bean Burritos
- Red Monster Soup
For TEACHERS AND SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
Here are some ideas for how to integrate tomato-themed activities into classrooms and school gardens.
Text for morning announcements
“Good morning, this is _____, with a Harvest of the Month soundbite. Did you know that on average the food you eat travels 1,500 miles from where it’s grown to reach your plate? This week we are featuring fresh, healthy, LOCALLY GROWN foods in the cafeteria. Look for TOMATOES grown by local farmers (name the farm(s) you’re purchasing from, if you can) in school lunches this month. Can you taste the difference?”
- Coloring Activity (for grades K-1)
- Tomato Craft Activity (for K-2 reading levels, and the activity is great for everyone!)
- Tomato Harvest Lessons (for grades K-4)
- Tomato life cycle activity & word bank (for grades 2-4)
- Math with pizza (for grades 3 – 6)
- The Amazing Tomato: From Roots to Routes (Grades 3-9)
- More math with pizza (for grades 6-8)
School garden activities
- Create a pizza garden! Choose one of your school garden beds to turn into a pizza garden. In the fall, plant garlic. In the spring, plan herbs (such as basil and oregano), onions, peppers, and tomatoes. Harvest the following year and make a delicious pizza! For more information on how to plan your garden bed, click here.
- Six plant parts activity (Hidden Villa)
For EARLY CHILDCARE AND EDUCATION (ECE) CENTERS
- Tomato Exploration (Growing Minds Farm to School)
Children will gain familiarity with different types of tomatoes and explore how they taste. Children become comfortable with tasting new foods in the supportive, positive environment of their preschool. Children learn that many vegetables come in lots of different varieties that all look and taste different.
- Tomato Salsa (Growing Minds Farm to School)
Children learn how to make their own snack and through a hands-on cooking experience gain motivation to try a new local vegetable. Children become comfortable with tasting new foods in the supportive, positive environment of their preschool. Children learn about kitchen utensils and how to use them to make a specific recipe.
For FAMILIES AND CAREGIVERS
- See our tomato newsletter for facts about tomatoes and how to use them.
- “How To Deal With Fresh Tomatoes” a primer on different ways to prepare tomatoes in the kitchen.
Thank you to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources for helping to make Harvest of the Month possible.