It has been rainy and cold the past two days, so I decided to do a fun project with Oliver. I have been teaching him about food as we cook, but we don’t focus on one item at a time very much. He recognizes most fruits and vegetables, but I want him to learn some facts about these fruits and veggies as well.
My goal today was to teach him two things: how to sort, and to recognize the difference between two fruits. We started by drawing pictures of the berries we wanted to learn about. Oliver gets to choose one new fruit to try when we go shopping. This makes him feel like he has some control over what he is eating and allows me the opportunity to educate him about new foods. He chose blackberries at the store yesterday, so they were the perfect pick for our learning project today. We picked our colors, black for the blackberries and blue for the blueberries. I chose blueberries because they are similar in color, so he would have to recognize the difference and pick the right ones. Make two sections on the paper, divide them, and color in your fruit or vegetable choice. I used two small jars so he could sort the berries. He can see the difference in the two berries, and I talked about how they are different while he sorted them. We also talked about the similarities in the two berries; they both grow on bushes. This summer we will go and pick some so he can see how they grow. He went for the blueberries first, because he is used to eating those. I picked the berries because he likes them so much and he knows what they taste like. Spend some time with your child, letting them put the berries into the small container and back into their package. They will learn about the texture of the berries, the variation in size, how to sort small items, and how they taste. Oliver tried a lot of blueberries, but he was unsure about the blackberries. I tried one first, and then he was willing to give them a chance. The flavor was a little too much for him, so I decided to make a smoothie with the blackberries so he could taste them in a different way.We made a blackberry pie smoothie and it was a winner. The recipe is below:
2 c coconut milk
1 c water
1 large banana
1 c blackberries
2 tbs flax seed meal
2 c spinach
In a blender, add the spinach, coconut milk, and water and blend well for one minute.
When the spinach is blended, add the flax seed meal and blend for another minute.
Add the banana and blackberries and blend until smooth.I put the smoothie next to the berries and explained how we made the smoothie. He was able to see the berries in two different forms. The difference in texture, and taste was also something he learned. The berries were soft, juicy and a little too tart for him. The smoothy was creamy and mildly flavored, so he liked it much better. This was a really fun way to learn about berries and introduce a new food. He was able to make the choice at the store yesterday and learn about how the berry tasted, felt, and looked today. Pairing it with one of his favorite berries was a nice way to keep him interested and learn about the difference between the two berries. He also learned about sorting, and how to keep the berries in their separate containers.
If you are looking for a rainy day project to keep your child entertained, this is great option. Choose two similar fruits or vegetables and have some fun learning together. Make learning fun, and play with your food!