Food Activities for Early Years Settings

GUEST BLOG by friend of the EYN Partnership Zoe Griffiths

There are so many ways that early Years practitioners can help children to learn about food and nutrition. Food activities can teach children how food is grown and where it comes from. Children can besides explore foods from different cultures or learn about new foods. here are some ideas you could try in your nursery :
Make fruit or vegetable people
Offer a assortment of fruit and vegetables and let the children use their imaginations. They could make a supporter, grandparent, football player, princess or a pet. green beans, sweetcorn chaff and carrot peelings make great haircloth. Older children can use a non-sharp knife to cut fruit and vegetables under close supervision .
Make a collage
Cut out food pictures from magazines and use them to make a collage. Discuss each food as the child is cutting them out. Why not try making a rainbow of pictures by ordering the pictures into different colours ?
Fruit and vegetable prints
Choose a choice of fruit and vegetables to make prints with. I find that celery, onions, mushrooms and apples work well. Before cutting, take the opportunity to discuss all about the yield or vegetable. Slice in half and hand round to the children. Let the children put the fruit or vegetables in some rouge and make prints. You can even use the celery haunt as paintbrushes !

Grow your own seeds
Runner beans are great for this as they grow debauched. You can link this activity to the narrative of Jack and the Beanstalk. Each child can plant their own bean and spirit after it. If you have quad, you can plant them outside and watch them grow. Your chef or cook could even prepare them for the children to eat. You could besides try growing radishes, tomatoes, potatoes or lettuce in pots or growbags. Cress, mustard* or herbs are thoroughly to grow if you have limited space. Your children will love watering them and watching them grow .
sprouts of broccoli in hands
Food smells game
Use foods with distinctive smells like coffee, lemon, onions, vanilla pods, cinnamon or vinegar. Put them into fictile containers with lids and authorize each food around. Ask the children to smell it and describe what it smells like. They can guess what they think it is. then you can have a discussion about what it is and where it comes from .
Cooking skills
You can teach the children basic cooking skills from a very new long time. You could try showing them how to mash a banana with a fork, grate cheese or use a jug to measure water. Learning to cook is a basic life skill. It can besides teach children to enjoy their food and understand how it is made.

Tasting foods from different cultures
Make a tray of unlike ingredients, equipment and foods from a particular culture. You could link it to a festival or celebration like Diwali or Harvest Festival. Children can feel, contact, spirit at, smack and smell the foods to explore with their senses. They discuss what they think it is, what it tastes like and whether they like it or not. You could encourage families to bring in foods from their culture to share with all the children ( make certain that this fits with your food policy ) .
Make pictures with food
Dried pasta, pulses, rice, seeds or dried herbs can be desegregate with glue or rouge to make pictures. When dry, this gives fantastic textures to explore .
Sing about food
There is nothing better than having a good singalong to your favorite food song. There are so many as everyone loves to sing about food. Some of my favourites are : ‘ Five currant buttocks ’, ‘ one potato, two potato ’, ‘ oats and beans and barley grow ’, ‘ I went to visit a grow one sidereal day ’, and ‘ ten fat sausages ’
teacher with setting children having fun

I hope that this has given you some modern ideas to use in your greenhouse. These activities can all be linked to the early Years Foundation Stage ( EYFS ) teach and development requirements. They are besides fun ways to get your children thinking about food and where it comes from. It will give them new and positive food experiences that they will remember for a hanker time .
For more ideas you might want to have a front here at

Zoe is a Registered Nutritionist specialising in public health. She has over 20 years’ experience working with a variety of organisations including early years settings, schools, the Department of Health and many public health departments. She has run multiple health promotion projects and training courses to help professionals integrate healthier eating into their practice. Zoe has specialised in working with children and young people, which has included developing under 5’s nutrition training for nurseries, working with Bristol City Council to offer healthy eating sessions for schools and leading the roll out of the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme in the South West. She also lectures on public health nutrition topics at Bath Spa University and the University of Bristol.
The EYN Partnership would like to thank Zoe for contributing her expert thoughts and personal views on this issue. Please note, that if you have any questions regarding the above as it relates to children in your care, please contact your healthcare professional for guidance. 
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Category : Healthy