Earlier in the autumn when I was out walking I found lots of field mushrooms. One of the advantages of not having the home schooled kids in the house any more is that we can eat as much as we want of the foods they didn’t like – mushrooms being one of them.
But they did enjoy other things we found; blackberries, apples from rogue trees in the hedgerows, and the odd broccoli dropped on the lane from a passing tractor. Okay – not strictly wild but still edible.
I am very lucky to have these bounties on my doorstep. They were a great way of educating the kids on the subject of food. For it is such an important subject. Both for their own well being and that of the planet.
But you don’t need to live where I do to help them understand that. You just need to bring awareness to what you’re eating. And maybe even learn together if your eating habits are something you’d like to make changes to.
Here are some ideas you could try, (which incidentally cover many of the topics on the National Curriculum!):
– Involve your kids in planning and preparing their food. http://www.cbeebies.com/za/grown-ups/children-love-to-cook/
– Learn about food groups and see each day how what you’ve planned or are eating fits into them. http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/Healthyeating.aspx
– Eat foods that have as many ingredients as possible in their natural state, or discuss how the food you eat started out in life so they know its origins. http://www.foodinsight.org/understandingourfood.aspx
– Think about some foods you and the children could grow together. You don’t need a garden or anything posh from a garden centre, any old container will do. Or look for ready prepped packs if you’re not confident. http://www.kidsinthegarden.co.uk/
– We all reach for the convenience of ready-made food. But these can still be talking points if you discuss the ingredients, sources, location of sources, etc. http://www.climatechoices.org.uk/pages/food1.htm http://tiki.oneworld.net/food/food2.html
– Understanding how food is produced is important for understanding the needs of the planet, how best to preserve it and to avoid polluting it and other ecological issues. http://www.climatechoices.org.uk/pages/food4.htm
– Which is a good way to introduce your kids to the idea of waste; both needless food waste and waste produced from unnecessary packaging. http://england.lovefoodhatewaste.com/
What we eat has a huge impact on our health and well being; physically, spiritually and mentally, so it is mega important subject for the children to understand.
But on the subject of well being, please don’t eat any mushrooms you find unless you are absolutely sure you know what they are!