Tag Archives: food
Earlier in the week, we requested that the students bring in carrots, apples, and tomatoes to further our study on fruits and vegetables. One day in class, we cut the carrots, apples, and tomatoes in many different ways and placed them on the light board. Our goal with this activity was to encourage the students to investigate and question the qualities of these fruits and vegetable.
The questions the children asked are as follows:
“Do carrots contain seeds?”
“Do apples have seeds?”
“Can you eat tomato seeds?” Continue reading
One goal we’ve been trying to achieve is to show the children that each food has a different taste and textures. To illustrate this, we cut up some cucumbers with the children so they could taste and play with them. As you can tell in the photos below, the cucumbers received a variety of reactions from the Toddler 1 class. One child enjoyed eating them, one child enjoyed sharing them, two children bit into the cucumbers and quickly spit the vegetable out, and a few children enjoyed playing with the cucumber skin and attempted to construct figures with it.
According to Dr. Susan Evans Morris, children need to learn about new foods in an unthreatening way. “When they stir, pat, smear, pour, and make designs with an unfamiliar food, they experience the sensory qualities of that food. What olor is it? What does it smell like? What does it feel like on my hands? Is it smooth or does it have some texture? Is it wet or dry?”
By allowing children to play with the whole cucumber, prepared slices, and engage in a sensory experience, they developed the comfort to explore the food with their mouths and this also gave them the confidence and greater willingness to experience the food. Moreover, the teachers had a chance to observe the children communicate, problem solve (when building with the cucumber skins and deciding what to do if they didn’t like the taste), work on their fine motor skills (by picking up and handling the vegetable), and describe the different tastes and textures they were experiencing.
According to Susan Revermann, a great way to continue this study at home is to take your child grocery shopping with you and turn it into a fun learning experience! Pick up various whole foods and show them to your child. Hold up two foods with contrasting colors, various shapes, different sizes, sweet smells, pungent smells, and foods that they may and may not recognize. Even if your child doesn’t quite understand your words yet or have the words to describe it themselves, your child will be developing their language skills while participating in a visually stimulating experience!
Continuing on our activity we started earlier this summer, the teachers give the infants different types of food every Friday to allow them to explore and engage in sensory play. This past Friday, the infants were given the opportunity to investigate cantaloupe, cucumbers, and potatoes!
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.
“In Reggio Emila, the choice of having a kitchen in each of the infant-toddler and preschools has always conveyed a strong meaning, both pedagogical and cultural. The kitchen is a place for listening to the families and their habits, as well as for orientation toward the community, where lunchtime becomes a space and context of relationships and encounters with the world.” –The Languages of Food
The staff is currently reading “The Languages of Food,” a book published by The Reggio Children, and it has made us look at food and learning in a different way. To put it simply, it has opened our eyes to the possibility of what food can be for the children at our school. Continue reading