I wrote last week about a Farm & Food Tuff Spot that I had set up for the children. This was in response to Mr D’s surprise when I had said that milk came from cows. I think it is really important that children understand the reality of where their food comes from, and once they’re older we will also look at and discuss the ethics of the farming industry, especially the stuff around milk production. They’re a little young at the moment, I think, and Mr D in particular is very sensitive and I think to have that conversation now wouldn’t be a good idea.
I am also keen for the children to understand why we make restrictions on certain foods. For example, we only drink water during the day and juice is a treat at the Monday playgroup we go to. I am very conscious of the high amounts of sugar in diets and it is actually really scary when you stop and start to look at just how much sugar we are consuming. I’ve explained that eating too much sugar isn’t good for us; taking time to explain how it can affect our behaviours and our body and that we have to make choices.
From mid April – to end of May time we have a lot of family birthdays which inevitably means lots of cake. Cake in itself is not a bad thing, but eating the sheer volume of cake and other sugary items on such a regular basis isn’t good for anyone, so we talked about making choices between a sugary fruit juice or a slice of cake. We also talked about how if we just ate bananas that wouldn’t be healthy, or if we just ate porridge. I try to vary their breakfasts each day, toast, cereals, porridge and there is usually some fruit in there too. We also have a reasonably varied selection in the evenings across the week, although Mr D can be quite fussy come evening meal times.
As part of the general learning about food work we had a lot of fun with the tuff spot, understanding that vegetables grow in the ground, fruit from trees and where dairy produce comes from. I also printed off these twinkl ‘where does food come from cards‘ which I laminated and have talked through with them both. I also have these ‘food origins‘ cards for matching (a free twinkl resource) which are good for helping to embed the fact that some things grow in the ground etc.
We have also had come colouring pages to hand – I used these fruit ones and these healthy eating sheets which are good for starting to give ideas about different food groups. Following on from our St George’s Day dragon puppets the children requested we made some farm animal ones, so using these we made some – although Mr D coloured all his animals green!
We have also been looking at books to learn about food and healthy eating. One that has really been a success is the wonderful T-Veg: The Tale of a Carrot Crunching Dinosaur. I reviewed this in more detail last year here, but it is one that is being read a lot at the moment as Mr D is into dinosaurs in a big way this week (and will be a focus for next week I think).
We also read the following books – some about food specifically and others about tractors and how they farm the land.
- Machines on the Farm
- My First Book About Food
- Following the Tractor
- Machines At Work: Tractors
- Vegetables (Healthy Eating)
Finally, we headed to Wythenshawe Park at the weekend. I had intended for them to take a look at the community farm and to buy some butter from there so the children could link the food they were eating back to the animals they had seen, however rather disappointingly it was opening two hours later than the advertised time, and as we had arrived at the park quite early I didn’t have food etc with us for lunch so we left. We did walk around the farm grounds though and they could see some of the animals and they had great fun running in the tread marks from the tractors wheels!
Resources I have used are:
- My farm & Food tuff spot
- Where does food come from cards
- Food Origins cards (free printable)
- Fruit colouring page
- Healthy eating colouring pages
- Farm stick puppets
- I have saved other ideas and resources on my Pinterest board here