Last week I asked a little boy where butter came from, “I don’t know” he responded. I told him that it came from a cow in which he responded “No, silly”. The idea then came to me that maybe we should do an activity on learning where our food comes from and how it doesn’t magically appear on a plate in the kitchen.
We started by sharing photos of various food sources, a cow, a chicken, a tree, the sea and soil. I placed the photos in front of them spread out and then started to introduce all the different foods I had previously prepared. The children looked at an apple and banana, potatoes and carrots, milk, butter and cheese, some eggs and a fish.
Once I had done this I started asking where some of the foods came from, if a child got it wrong I wouldn’t disagree with them I would play out their lines of enquiry. With one little boy this is the conversation we had:
Me - Where does milk come from?
L - From the fridge
Me - Oh ok, so where do bananas come from?
L - A bowl
This little boy showed the obvious areas that these foods literally came from but still spurred me on to increase their understanding and start to appreciate a world bigger than their little part of it.
Throughout the week this association activity really promoted and provoked children to use their language to communicate their thoughts over the connection between food and their source.
I used laminated photos for this activity but the contents of a fridge would work really well along with even drawn animals.
Sometimes routine and hectic schedules can get in the way of having discussions like this with your two year old at home, but we urge you to stop and ask questions like, “Where does broccoli come from?” The answer will either shock you or make you giggle and definitely allow you to identify any misconceptions in their understanding of the world.