veggie toddler - a young child learning how to walk and eat vegetables, not necessarily a wobbly vegetarian.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

From Garden To Table

In honor of Earth Day, I helped two teachers at my kids’ preschool set up a tasting and teaching table of garden goodies. The idea was to present different food as they are harvested from the garden and then in the different forms in which they are then eaten. Then, of course, encourage the children to simply take a taste. For example, a child would see fresh picked sunflowers then taste sunflower sprouts and sunflower seeds. We presented ginger, sugar cane, coconut, sunflowers, mushrooms, beets, broccoli and carrots. Each class lined up at one end of the table in order to walk along, tasting our displays as we explained what they was in front of them. We acted as tour guides through an edible garden.

See the ginger, have a sip of ginger juice, taste pickled ginger.

See the sugar cane, taste sugar cane juice and a pinch of sugar.

See the mushrooms, taste a raw mushroom slice.

See the broccoli, taste broccoli sprouts and steamed florets.

See the beets with their purple leaves, taste boiled, chopped beets and watch your tongue turn red.

See the carrots with their green leaves, taste carrot sticks and crinkle-cut carrot slices.

It was a tremendous success. Many kids watched but never tasted anything but many more stepped up for second helpings on beets, mushrooms, broccoli and carrots. Thanks to a wonderful preschool, the teachers who organized the event, the parents who volunteered their time and energy and of course the students who stepped up and tasted fresh veggies.


mary said...

Wow - what a cool display! Thanks for including broccoli sprouts!

Freda said...

Awesome idea--I love the idea of getting children to try a new healthy food--no pressure or rewards necessary--eventually they will eat things like broccoli without rewards like dessert afterward.