Did you know that almost a third of school aged children think that cheese is some kind of plant? Or that it’s chicken or pork inside a fish finger? I really wish that wasn’t true but a survey from the British Nutrition Foundation says otherwise.
The summer holidays is the perfect time to get your children more involved in their food and learn where things come from. I’ve compiled a dozen fun food activities for a whole range of ages that I hope can give you some summer time inspiration. Let’s get in to them:
A day out at a farm
What better way to start than by heading to where our food comes from. Growing up in Cumbria, I was surrounded by wildlife and farming. I hunted for eggs in barns, stroked pigs, ran about in fields and if you need evidence, here’s a very small me cuddling a sheep.
Not only is it a great day out, but time on a farm teaches kids that food doesn’t begin with the supermarket. The Soil Association website has a list of organic open farms all across the UK.
Let them set the menu.
For the youngest, it could be simply giving them a choice between two different vegetables. For older kids, set them a challenge to design a healthy menu for the week, decorate it, stick it on the fridge and stick to it.
Pack a picnic
Make some kid friendly snacks together, pack a picnic and head outdoors. Pure fruit roll ups and mini omelettes are great options and will become lunch box staples come September.If you’re looking for a place to take in the sights, try the National Trust website for a picnic friendly location near you.
Over the next few months there is so much wild food in season. Arm yourself with a basket and take to the hedgerows for fabulous ingredients. Do your research and read the wild food code first and you can’t go far wrong. For more information about foraging, you can find a list of wild food here.
Regrow food waste
Did you know that you can regrow spring onions if you keep the bottom? There’s a ‘how to’ on my instagram.
Hand the shopping list over
Get young ones to collect the fruit and veg, teaching them how to identify different types and pick the best of what’s on offer.
Make food fun
Turn pizzas in to works of art with the toppings. You don’t have to make pizza bases if you’re in a hurry, baguettes sliced in half make great ‘poor pizza’ (that’s what Matt calls them).
Head over seas.
Whether you have a holiday booked this year or not, kids will love learning a bit more about food from other countries. Pick somewhere based on where you’ve been, where you’re going or your dream destination. Set them off online and ask them to find out about the food that they eat in your chosen country and choose a meal to try and make at home.
Head to the market
Give each child a budget to find their own lunch.
Go back to basics
Make your own icelollies.
Making ice lollies at home is not only a fun project but will save you money in the long term when a heatwave hits. Left over fruit juice, smoothies and milk shakes are easily transformed but you can also add hidden fruit and sweets to make them more fun.
Grow their own
Plant an easy to care for edible together- cress is the obvious choice. Keep it in a prominent place for them, like a bedroom windowsill and let them tend to it. They’ll love coming up with ways to use it once it has grown.