I was shocked to learn that a recent poll from a popular supermarket chain revealed that 41% of children under the age of eight didn't know that eggs came from chickens! Similar polls demonstrated that many children are unaware that milk comes from cows! Educating kids about food is important as it develops their understanding of food sources and helps them form healthy eating habits.
I think it's so much harder in today's society to teach our kids about the origins of food. Especially with supermarket deliveries and kids spending more time indoors than we ever did as kids.
We've come up with 5 super simple activities you can do with your kids to teach them about where their food comes from.
1. Plant your own vegetable garden
Don't worry, I'm not expecting you to go to Bunnings and buy a huge planter box. It can be as simple as planting a cherry tomato plant in a pot or having some herbs growing on the window sill. The important thing is that your child is involved in the process of planting, harvesting and tasting.
2. Visit a community garden or farm
I highly encourage you to see if there is a working farm you can visit in your local area. Be it a strawberry farm, or a local farm stay that has animals or even a sunflower farm. Your kids will experience a new kind of appreciation about the food they eat after they experience how and where it grows.
3. Reading books
If none of the above appeals to you, there's always books (thank goodness for books!) Here are some of my favourites:
Look Inside Food by Emily Bone
How Does My Garden Grow by Gerda Muller
In the Garden by Leslie Bockol
Nature's Day by Kay Maguire
Craft activities are a great way to solidify a child's learning, especially for kids that learn by 'doing'. Draw inspiration from our Farm Craft Box - make a cob of corn from corn kernels and green paper, collage a scarecrow or narrate a story with our farm scene. It could even be as simple as drawing a picture of an apple tree. Get creative and draw some carrots on a page and then let the kids glue some dirt over the top. While the kids are busy crafting, they are also working on the many skills required for school. Bilateral coordination, strong fine motor muscles for correct pencil grip, self expression and creative thinking are just several of the skills that your child develops while doing craft activities.
5. Go food shopping with your kids
Whether this is at the supermarket or farmer's market (ideal), this gives kids a chance to see what unpackaged food looks like and also will expose them to fruits and vegetables they may not be familiar with.
We hope you've enjoyed this article and we'd love to know how you teach your kids about the origins of food. Feel free to leave us a comment below.
Check out this months Craft Box here.
We share HEAPS of activities to do with your preschooler over on our Instagram page. Follow us here.