Talking to Young Kids about Real Food
Last week, I was invited into my daughter’s first grade class to talk about Real Food. Her class is currently doing a unit which helps them think about a topic they are experts on so they can doing their “writing workshops” on the topic. Knowing that I am passionate about Real Food, she asked me to come and share with the kids!
So, I set out to talk to them about the importance of Real Food and healthy snacks (I’ll share some of our favorite snacks below!). I love our kids’ school and I’ve been impressed with some “policy” changes they’ve made in this area. Instead of birthday treats, they are encouraging kids to bring in a new or old book to donate to the library! AND, they are strongly suggesting that the morning snacks that kids bring are either fruits, veggies, cheese or meat. LOVE IT!
I only had about 20 minutes so I kept it pretty simple, as you’ll see. I thought I’d share the points I made so you can share them with the young kids in your life!
1. Use the example of a car.
I brought in a large toy car. And then I asked these questions:
Q: What does a car need in order to run?
A: Other than one kid who said “oil”, the overwhelming response was “GAS”! Exactly.
Q: What would happen if they put yucky, bad gas into the car?
A: It wouldn’t run right; it might quit; it might sputter. Yup.
2. Relate it to our bodies.
Q: What do our bodies use as fuel? What do we put into our bodies to make them work?
Q: What happens if we put bad fuel (food) into them?
A: They won’t work right; they’ll get weak.
Q: Exactly. So what are some ideas of BAD fuel for our bodies (we made a list of these where kids could see them)?
A: Ice cream, candy, cake, popsicles, Halloween candy, cookies, etc.
Q: How does your body feel when you put bad fuel into it?
A: Tired, sick, “lots of energy” and then no energy.
Q: What are some examples of GOOD fuel? (Again, made a list that they could see)
A: A long list of fruits, veggies, meat and other whole foods.
Q: And how does your body feel when you put good fuel into it?
A: Healthy, lots of energy.
I told them that not only do our bodies work best with GOOD fuel, but so do our brains.
3. Share some snack ideas.
Since there were no peanut allergies in the class, we made Ants-On-A-Log for a snack (I had a dish of all-natural peanut butter, a dish of raisins and a plate of celery on each table).
After I was done, it was actually their snack time and many of them came up to me to show me their healthy snacks (cheese and fruit, veggies, etc). It was so cute and they were so proud!
*One idea I didn’t use but have heard about is to use the example of a stop-light (this probably would work best with mid/upper-elementary aged kids). You’d help them brainstorm:
Green Light = anytime foods
Yellow Light = sometimes foods
Red Light = never foods
Here are some of my kids’ favorite snacks:
Ants-On-A-Log: celery topped with peanut butter and raisins (ad some shredded coconut for “Ants-On-A-Snowy-Log!)
Energy Balls (THESE are our favorite and you can change to your tastes/needs)
Homemade Hummus with veggies
Homemade Popcorn (using coconut oil, drizzled with real butter and salt)
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