Healthy Habits Sprouting at Platte River Head Start!

The Head Start classrooms over at Platte River in Benzie County are instilling healthy habits in kids with help from Taste the Local Difference (TLD). Through the Building Healthy Communities (BHC) grant, this partnership is using funds to incorporate nutrition education into the Head Start curriculum. Kim Micham and Debra Rafferty at Platte River Head Start are working closely with Paula Martin, Registered Dietitian and Community Health Coordinator at Taste the Local Difference. Together, they’re creating healthy snack options that have less sodium, less sugar, more fiber, and more fruits and veggies. But, they’re not just serving up healthier options – they’re also empowering kids and their families to make healthier choices.

Screen Shot 2018-05-29 at 12.22.13 PMOn May 17th, families were welcomed into the classroom to cook with their kids. While parents received handouts and tips centered around child nutrition, the kiddos made their own veggie roll ups. Two Instant Pots were even given away to encourage easy experimentation with cooking at home! Cooking with kids is a great way to teach about healthy habits, but it can also be a very empowering experience. Debra shared a memory of a child exclaiming “I can peel my own banana!” Moments like these illustrate the confidence children exert when allowed a role in meal prep.

Platte River Head Start will continue to hold age appropriate nutrition lessons and activities. Utilizing a variety of tools & fun materials, like graphics showing why certain foods are important for growing bodies, will make teaching nutrition easy. The goal is to better equip both children and parents to make healthy choices. In addition to curriculum and cooking classroom tools, Platte River Head Start will be working with TLD to design new educational materials using the BHC funds. These will highlight nutrition and local food resources for families in the 2018-2019 school year.

Michigan Veggie Roll Ups (20  Slices)

Serving Sizes: Adult = 6 slices, Child = 2-4 slices

This is a great recipe to use up any Michigan veggies you have on hand and make with kids. This recipe uses some we recommend and are growing in Michigan this June. Kids can wash the produce, help spread the cream cheese and roll up the tortillas.  

2 large, 12 inch, whole wheat flour tortillas

4 tbsp reduced fat cream cheese or neufchatel cheese

1 cup shredded Michigan lettuce or spinach, raw

½ lb Michigan asparagus, raw

4 Michigan radishes, raw

Seasoning to taste -garlic and mixed herbs like lemon pepper, basil and oregano. Fresh local ramps are also a tasty addition.  


  1. Place wheat tortilla on a flat surface. With a spatula or cheese spreader, spread a thin layer of low fat cream cheese  (2 tbsp on each )
  2. Sprinkle with your favorite salt-free seasoning on top of cheese
  3. Thinly slice or small dice asparagus, radishes
  4. Layer tortilla with lettuce or spinach on top of cheese, next radishes, lastly, asparagus
  5. Slowly roll the tortilla up into a tube
  6. Cut rolled up tube into about 10, 1-2 inch slices
  7. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts: 1 slice – 47 calories, 7g Carb., 2g Protein, 1g Fat, 1g dietary Fiber, 104 mg sodium.

Marissa is TLD’s Health Intern this summer. As such, she is working to better understand the role local food has on community health through CSA worksite wellness and BHC initiatives. She is currently pursuing her Master of Public Health and Dietetics at the University of Michigan. Contact her [email protected].