Pomegranates were placed on a table today as a provocation. Our goal is to give the children an “experience” with food, meaning, we don’t want them to just eat it, but understand it, taste it, know where the food comes from, how to prepare it, and more.
We provide the children with opportunities to explore foods in their natural, whole form in order to help them have a new understanding of food and where to comes from.
At first, the children just stared at the fruit, not quite sure what to do with it or exactly what it was. Finally, one student began picking the seeds out. The children struggled a bit to pick out all of the seeds, but it was a wonderful opportunity to work on fine motor skills. One of the boys loved the taste of the seeds! He ate almost all of them single-handedly! One child figured out how to tear the pomegranates open to find even more seeds while another student enjoyed trying to put the pomegranate back together. Together, the children worked to pick the seeds out and fill up the bowl. The children enjoyed rolling the seeds in their hands, between their fingers, and tasting the fruit. One of the children took bites out of the entire fruit (skin and all) while another enjoyed filling up the bowl with everything on the table and then dumping it out. Two of the children helped pick up each and every seed from the floor, enjoying the process of cleaning up!
It was a wonderful experience for us as teachers to observe them communicate, problem solve, and explore a new taste! Simply playing with this fruit helped the children to build life skills, improve fine motor skills, social development, and contribute to language acquisition. Playing with pomegranates allowed the children to squeeze, taste, feel, smell, see and develop an understanding of a new food. Moreover, the pomegranate has a variety of recognizable, rich colors that we were able to discuss and observe. An excellent way to continue this study at home is to serve a fruit or vegetable in its whole form and allow your child to explore it. We’ve found that this is a great way to introduce new foods to their diet.
“More importantly, it is a food that they have never seen before… so to think of what they thought when they first saw it and touched it! It was so interesting because without any direction from the teacher to eat it, most of the children didn’t even realize it was food. We were excited to provide them with the experience of seeing this ‘strange’ fruit and seeing them test their theories. It’s amazing that each child did something different, they were researching.”