Fun activities focusing on food and nutrition for this school holidays.
These activities are great ways to learn more about food and nutrition.
1. Critique a food sample plate.
Pretend you are all aliens from out of space and you’ve been served a plate with a few different foods ranging from some new foods, foods you don’t eat often to some favourite foods. Instruct your kids to take their time to look at each piece of food, smell it, lick it, take a bite and chew it slowly focusing on and enjoying all the sensations. Describe these sensations together thinking about its sight, taste, smell, temperature and texture. Now get the kids to hold their nose and describe the taste now. It should alter the taste. After doing this a few times ask about how their belly feels. Do they feel like their stomach is empty, getting full, full or over full? Talk about how the body tells you when it’s finished eating.
Lesson – Intuitive eating.
2. Buy groceries together at the local farmers market.
Before leaving for the farmers market write a list of food you need for the week and what dishes you will cook. At the market, talk about the food that is in season. Sample the food on offer. Purchase any food you need.
Lesson – Where fruit and veggies come from. The value of food. Meal planning.
3. Visit a farm.
Milk a cow, look and/or pick some veggies, collect eggs, discuss the journey of how food gets onto our plates. Depending on your child’s age you could say something like beef comes from that cow you see.
Lesson – Where our food comes from and how the food gets from the paddock to our plates.
4. Get baking in the kitchen.
Let your child decide what to cook. If they are stuck for ideas flicking through recipe books or online together may help.
Lesson – Impart a love of cooking and food, learn maths during the process (volume differences between cup sizes, how many ¼ in 1 cup, the weight of 1 cup of flour is different to 1 cup of sultanas), and appreciate the flavour of food ingredients and the final food product.
5. Cook dinner together.
Theme night – Monster food, green food, include fruit in each of your dishes (entrée, main and dessert). Visit here for recipe ideas.
Lesson – As above
6. Turn your kitchen into a band.
Let the kids rummage through the kitchen to play with the pots, pans, wooden spoons and containers…They may even surprise you playing beautiful music!
Lesson – Familiarisation of cooking equipment and getting in touch with their musical self.
7. Start a small veggie patch.
If you decide to start a veggie patch gain commitment from the family. Involve the kids in the planning. What type of garden ie. In pots, the big patch above ground or on the ground. What veggies will you plant? Are they appropriate for the season and climate? Talk about caring for the garden. Research how to start a garden and how to care for it. Make a list of equipment and supplies you need to buy to get started. Delegate responsibilities.
Lesson – Appreciate where food comes from, what’s grown in what season, differentiate the types of veggie seeds and plants. Plus many more indirect food and nutrition learning opportunities.
8. Go to the library and borrow food and nutrition-related storybooks.
The older kid may even enjoy non-fiction books which focus on how to start a veggie garden, the process of how cheese is made, the role of nutrients in the body and so on.
Lesson – Learn something new about food and nutrition and develop a love of reading.
9. Food experiments.
Such as making corn kernels turn into popcorn and turn thickened cream into whipped cream and then butter.
Lesson – Food can be modified into different states of matter. Liquid, solid and gas with the help of temperature and friction. Popcorn explodes because each kernel has water inside it. The microwave quickly raises that water to the steaming point and the pressure of the steam opens the hull and inflates the contents. Whipping so much air into the cream makes the fat globules stick together into a paste we call butter.
What fun food activities do your kids enjoy? We’d love to hear them – please leave a comment below.