Thursday, June 12, 2014

Good Food, Good Day!

Do fun and different things with GOOD FOOD today!  As we all know, one good tool you can always have in your parenting toolbox is GOOD FOOD! Any way you eat food that is good for you makes a GOOD DAY for your family.  Start by going on a GOOD FOOD HUNT to find things in the  refrigerator, freezer, pantry and cupboards.  Let everyone choose at least one thing to use in the day's meals. Take a look in your cookbooks together and choose a recipe to try. Or create your own recipe! Talk about the different kinds of food: fruit, vegetables, protein foods, dairy and grains.  Keep reading and discover a few new fun ways to have a GOOD TIME sharing  GOOD FOOD for a GOOD DAY!

(Gather any books you have around the house about food, both children's books and cookbooks.  Check out books from your library.  If your library does not have these titles, apply for them through interlibrary loan.  And remember, many children's books that are not directly concerned with food may have food and meals within the story.  Be good food detectives and see what you can discover about food in lots of books!)

The Little Red Hen  by Byron Barton 
Pancakes, Pancakes!  by Eric Carle
The Very Hungry Caterpillar  by Eric Carle
Eating the Alphabet  by Lois Ehlert
Growing Vegetable Soup  by Lois Ehlert
Feast for 10  by Cathryn Falwell
The Little Red Hen  by Paul Galdone
Spot Bakes a Cake  by Eric Hill
Little Bunny Follows his Nose  by Katherine Howard
The Doorbell Rang  by Pat Hutchins
Blueberries for Sal  by Robert McCloskey
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie  and many other titles in this series by Laura Numeroff
Mouse Mess  by Linnea Riley
Carrot Soup by John Segal

Take a BOOK BREAK during the day whenever someone wants to read and listen.  Decide at the end of the book what food you saw that you like to eat or would like to try.  Maybe from reading books you can make a list of GOOD FOOD ideas to take to the grocery store the next time you go!

I wrote this ACTION RHYME to use for my library storytime FOOD, FOOD AND MORE FOOD.    It is fun to learn, fun to do and fun to use for GOOD FOOD IDEAS.  For LUNCH collect a few stuffed animals:  a rabbit, a monkey, a raccoon.  Or, if you don't have those particular animals, look for pictures of them in books or online.  Or, just substitute three animals you do have!  Read the words first, asking your child to repeat each line with you.  Then put the actions with the words, facing each other or in front of a mirror.


                                 Rabbits eat carrots with a crunch, crunch, crunch.

(Hold your hands on your head and make floppy rabbit ears, then make your hands into fists and hold one on top of the other in front of your mouth to make a carrot to crunch.)
                                Monkeys eat bananas by the bunch, bunch, bunch. 

(Hold your fists over your ears too make monkey ears, then flop your hands, fingers down, in front of your mouth to make banana bunches.)
                                Raccoons eat sweet corn with a munch, munch, munch.

(Hold your hands like glasses over your eyes to make the raccoon's mask, then shape your hands in a long ear of corn in front of your mouth and move it from left to right.)
                              And I eat ______________________ for my lunch, lunch, lunch!

(Point to yourself, then call out the name of a food you like to eat, hold your hands up to your mouth and pretend to eat your lunch!)

Speak with great rhythm and energy.  I like to nod my head to the beat!  Say the words and do the actions over and over, saying a different food for the last line each time.  Make sure everyone gets a turn or two to choose the food.  You can use different animals and different foods in the first three lines, too.  See how many versions you can create.  HAVE FUN!
                                                                                       by Jane Willis Johnston  Copyright 1999

RAINBOW OF FRUIT is great for exploring food, colors and counting, which all lead to vocabulary development and creativity. You can make up your own tune or just say the words.  And it makes an art project for everyone to share before your learn the words.

For my storytime, I made a felt set of the fruit shapes and arranged them in a rainbow shape on the flannelboard as I sang the song. You can make the same number of each fruit, or, as I did, make 6 apples, 5 oranges, 4 lemons, 3 pears, 2 plums, and one bunch of grapes.  That makes a sort of wedge shaped rainbow and allows for a variety of numbers for counting.  However you do it will be fine!  You can use felt (inexpensive felt squares are available at craft stores) or colored paper or color your shapes with crayons or markers.

The idea I shared with the children was that if you eat a rainbow of fruit every week you will be healthy, and being healthy can help make you happy!

                                                     RAINBOW OF FRUIT

                                                          Red, red apples,
                                                      Orange, orange oranges,
                                                Yellow, yellow lemons in the tree.
                                                        Green, green pears,
                                                           Blue, blue plums,
                                                     Purple, purple grapes I see.
                                                      A rainbow of fruit for me.
                                                                               by Jane Willis Johnston  Copyright 1998

My method of teaching this song/rhyme is to put out the apples in a curve and sing "Red, red apples."  (Use the floor or the back of a couch.  You do not need a flannelboard!)  Then I trace over the line of apples with my finger and ask everyone to repeat and sing with me.  Then I put out the oranges and sing that line, then go back to the apples and ask everyone to repeat and sing with me the first two lines.  I go on in that way until we have learned the whole song.   On the last line, I hold my hands above my head and then bring them down to my sides to make a rainbow arch, and then point to myself.  And then we sing it one more time!!

BE AS CREATIVE AS YOU CAN BE:  Of course, there is more than one fruit of any color, so  think of other fruit to substitute and find out how many different RAINBOWS OF FRUIT you can make!


Serve a breakfast that includes 3 or 4 items.  Then get really silly!  Starting with you, everyone takes a turn re-naming a food items.  For example, blueberries could become JUICY BLUE BOFFLE BUDS.  Pancakes could be called BOUNCY FRIED FRISBEES.  (The non-throwing kind of Frisbees, of course!)  Orange juice just might be thought of as FUNNY RUNNY WHAT'S'IT.  And yoghurt could turn into SQUISHY SQUOOSY PUDDING.  All this could well make for an exciting start to your GOOD FOOD DAY!

Pack a lunchbox with a variety of family favorite foods so there is no doubt everyone will eat a good lunch, add a timer set for 3 minutes, grab a towel or blanket or tablecloth and march around the house or yard  until the timer goes off.  Plop down, set out your picnic, reset the timer for 5 minutes and start eating!  When the timer goes off, re-pack the box, reset the timer for 3 minutes and take off marching until the timer tells you to stop and eat again.  Don't forget to reset the timer before you start to eat.  Do this as many times as everyone is enjoying it or until the food runs out! If you are indoors, you night find yourself picnicking behind the couch or under a table or on a bed.  Anything is possible and fun is guaranteed!! 

Dig out an old recipe from your family or a friend.   Choose something you have not made for a long time.   Tell your children the stories connected with the recipe: the people, when you first ate it or made it, if it was a part of a family tradition or holiday, maybe even who liked it and who did not.   Let everyone help with the cooking and serve it for dinner.  Ask everyone to help re-tell the stories of the recipe around the table.  Then tell the story of your making the recipe together on your GOOD FOOD DAY!