Today I had a lunch date. A 10:35am lunch date with my daughter and her kindergarten class in the school lunch room. A cafeteria full of 5 – 7 year olds eating their lunch is certainly a sight to behold. The organization and strategy needed to simply complete the task at hand is impressive. I mostly sat there with my mouth open, taking in the scene, wondering if herding cats would be an easier operation. The teachers who walk around the cafeteria making sure the little kids eat their lunches and behave nicely told the kids to eat their “growing food” first, and then dessert. My daughter held up her sandwich and pointed to her cantaloupe and whispered to me, “this is my growing food, mommy.”
Growing Food. What a fantastic phrase. It’s not good food or bad food, healthy food or unhealthy food, food that mommy wants you to eat or food that you really want to eat. Instead, it’s about growing up. I’m pretty sure that all kids think about growing up in some way, every day. So to talk about nutritious food as food that will help you grow is just brilliant. No one is saying that cookies are bad; instead they are saying that a sandwich will make you grow.
This phrase allows the child the independence to think through the scenario himself. “I want to grow up and be a big kid…I will eat my sandwich first….then I will eat my dessert.” The phrase Growing Food teaches little kids WHY we want to eat nutritious food rather than just forcing nutritious food without an explanation. Thank you to the lunch teachers, for inspiring our little ones to eat their growing food.