Today we kicked off another learning area in the mix - food groups using a new 'Make your own sandwich' pretend play set. Children learnt that wheat/white/buns/pita breads are grains/carbohydrates food group and give us energy. Eggs/Meats/Cheese/Beans food groups are proteins which help our bodies grow. Vegetable food groups contain vitamins and micronutrients that we can't grow well without either. Other things that are put in a sandwich like mayo, ketchup, dressings, jelly have fat/oils/sugar which we can do without or very less of. It is better to use butter, cheese or avocado instead...in moderation.
We made our 'healthy' sandwiches for lunch using wheat flour buns, cheese spread, cucumber, tomato, avocado, eggs/chicken. We talked about vegetation and non-vegetarian (meat-eating) diets. Children could relate to them. We consciously skipped adding salt, pepper or any condiments to encourage enjoying raw flavors. The lunch table had many interesting questions/confirmations:
- Fruit is healthy?
- Yoghurt is healthy?
- Candy is not healthy?
- Watching TV more than 1/2 hour or so is not healthy but small amount is all right?
- Vegetarians or non-vegetarian diets are both healthy too? This was important given we have 4 vegetarians in our midst.
- Why do some people eat meat?
- Beans are healthy?
More conversations and 'healthy' learnings will continue. It was great to see so many queries get vocalized. I realize young ages are impressionable and it is important for each young child to be comfortable with their diets and see strengths in them.
Outdoors were spent enjoying Blue Park where there was mommy-kids pretend play that emerged. Air Quality was noted fine in our area and I will continue to watch out.
Each child is being encouraged to think about where they are spending their time and to pick their activities via cards that Teacher Vrinda has created and continues to. The intent is to have them learn to schedule their time while ensuring they have diversity of play and learn experiences each week.
I'll pause here. Our days are filled with conversations, fun, play, learning and most of all valuing each other in our close knit classroom...very healthy :) Talk and model healthy eating and living choices with your children. They will enjoy talking with you about carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins.