Interactive Fruit & Vegetable Workshop At School
I was invited into my kids’ school to do an interactive workshop with fruit and vegetables yesterday to year 1 (5 and 6 year olds) and had an absolute blast!
Before we got started, I asked the children what they do when they see new food on their plate. ‘I just try a little bit’, ‘I don’t eat it’, ‘I lick it first’ were some answers.
We came up with the idea of using ‘yet’ at the end of our sentence next time they felt like saying, ‘I don’t like it!’. This little word was quite simply, transformative. I saw with my own eyes a shift in mindset. Rather than ruling out new vegetables straightaway, the children nibbled on them. Some kids decided on ‘I don’t like it yet!’ and they were happy with that.
I loved seeing how carefree and adventurous the kids were in their little groups, feeding off each other’s enthusiasm! When one chid tried something, you could see the other children observing and wondering whether to try too.
No bribery, no shouting, no frustration. Children being left to their own devises to explore and make as much mess as they wished.
Peeling, chopping, grating. And the one that went down the best? - spiralising!
My intention wasn’t to get the kids to eat anything. I like focusing on the senses first. Even for the children who seemed to eat the fruit and vegetables with ease, it was still good reinforcement on how to approach new food.
When I did ask the kids if they had tried anything new, most in the class said ‘yes’. An unexpected result to be quite honest and a nice bonus.
My parting gift was ‘Freddie The Frog’ (see picture below) - seeing the kids’ eyes light up was a very special moment for me!
One of the teachers came up to me at the end and said, ‘I’m absolutely shocked, I have never seen Archie* try one single vegetable before, this is amazing!’
Feedback from some of the parents:
‘I was so surprised to hear Henry* talk about his school day this afternoon! You managed to get him to open up (finally) with your amazing activities. He loves hands-on and playful activities 😊 Early eating habits are so important!’
‘He had loads of fun and was full of tales of what he'd eaten. He has asked us to get a spiraliser! Well done you for getting them all enthused!’
I’d like to connect with other people doing this in schools to learn more, can anyone help? Or whether you know of any schools that would like me to come in and do something similar? Off to sort my DBS and to learn what else I need to approach other schools!
*Names of kids changed for safety reasons*