Food Glorious Food

We are very much into where food comes from in our house at the moment. imageMaster L is constantly asking questions about food and drinks such as: “What is this fruit called?” “Does that cow make my milk?” “Is this barley or wheat in this field?” Living in rural Devon, the fields are alive with crops at the moment, so I too am learning about fields and their contents, thank goodness for the wise ‘Tractor Ted’ education! I’m loving the fact Master L is showing such an interest in what he is eating, as food plays a pretty major part in our immediate and extended family life. It got me thinking about ways you can get your children more involved in their eating especially for those with fussy or reluctant eaters, a topic  which I often get asked advice on. Below are some ways to help your little learners become interested in what they are eating and drinking.

Explore crops: touch, look and take photos of crops. Often footpaths run imagealong the edge so you wont destroy them for the poor farmers. If you aren’t sure of whether you are beside wheat, barley or maize for instance, take a photo and identify it back home with the help of the internet or books. Extend this further by discussing how these crops are used and who eats them- both humans and animals?

Supermarkets: if you take your smallies shopping with you, embrace looking at new foods (apricots for us this week!), talk about the names, where they come from, how do they grow, what they look like, how they feel, do they smell, do they change when they are cooked, can you eat them raw etc. Occasionally buy a new food, especially if your child has chosen it, great for encouraging new tastes, Choose recipes and then help your child find the ingredients at the supermarket.

imageFarm Stalls/Farmers Markets: becoming more common throughout the UK and at this time of year many farms/gardens may have temporary stalls on the side of the road. Great for exploring food, especially fruit and veggies and seeing where and how they grow. Plus you are supporting local producers and buying delicious fresh produce.

Animal/Tree/Plant products: Master L is a keen meat eater and he likes to know which meat comes from which animal. Discussing which animals, trees and plants provide food for us allows children a better understanding of the origins of what they eat. Our other major interest is what Master L finds inside his fruit at the moment, apparently nectarines have a “huge rock” inside them! Planting fruit or veggies in the garden also really brings the whole experience to life in a hands on way.

Books: I like the look of ‘How Did That Get in My Lunchbox- the story of food’ by C.Butterworth. Available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Did-That-Get-Lunchbox/dp/0763665037

Board Games: ‘Food Snap’ by Green Board Games looks great from a young
age. Available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Green-Board-Game-Co/dp/B000F46CVC/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1466710768&sr=8-1&keywords=Food+snap+green+board+games The wonderful Orchard Toys imagehave a great fun game called ‘Veg Patch Match.’ Again available on Amazon or direct through www.orchardtoys.com.