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I may not be the best cook in town, but I’ve got my healthy snack game ON. My kids love raw veggies and hummus. Fruits are just a part of life for us, too (being that I’m a vegetarian, this comes easy). So I thought it was funny when my kids asked me what carrots were made out of the other day! It was one of those preschool questions that made me giggle and reminded me to include some fun investigations on healthy foods in our lesson plans.
- Make-Your-Own Discovery Tubes from Lakeshore Learning
- Various fruit/veggies
- Observation worksheet
We had this great set of observation tubes from Lakeshore Learning that I knew would be perfect for close-up investigations. Since the tubes have watertight seals, I was able to pour water in and have my kids place various fruits and veggies inside as well. The food then became suspended in water for an interesting way to study them with a 360-degree view!
Water is also a natural magnifier, which was awesome for noticing small details in the food that my kids had never noticed before.
There were fine little “hairs” coming off of the carrot, seeds in the cucumber, florets on the broccoli, and little juice sacks in the oranges! I even made an observation sheet for us to record our observations.
Investigating food like this was a great way to hone in on their powers of observation (all science starts with the ability to make observations).
Learning Where Healthy Foods Come From
No investigation on healthy foods would be complete without discussing where foods actually come from, though. For this, we used the Watch and Record Plants Lab to grow pinto beans, lima beans, and green beans.
The Watch and Record Plant Lab includes four vinyl vases that have measurements printed right on the side, making it easy to incorporate math into our science lesson. There also include reusable static cling stickers to label the parts of the plant right on the vase- Winning!
My kids enjoyed tracking the plant growth and observing how the roots grew underground in comparison to how the stem and leaves grew above ground. It was a neat way to learn more about the foods we eat and where they come from. (A particularly fun thing to see is the pinto bean shells falling off of the leaves as the plant grew!)
Modeling Healthy Eating Habits through Play
Every well-stocked playroom had to include pretend food (we choose to use the Healthy Lunch Playfood Set from Lakeshore Learning). Kids learn so much through play, and providing them with healthy play food encourages healthy eating habits later on.
Through play, kids are learning how to make healthy food choices, how to pack a wholesome lunch, what ingredients are used for sandwiches, etc.
Sitting and having a pretend picnic (using our Picnic Time Playset) together offers lots of opportunities to talk about the food choices and expand on different ways to eat them (“Mmmm, thank you for the celery! I love to dip it in peanut butter when I eat it! Do you like peanut butter and celery too?”)
Investigating healthy foods with preschoolers can be a rewarding science lesson that leads them to try new foods afterward. Don’ forget to follow up these lessons with a wholesome snack to fuel those growing brains!
Are you as much of a fan of Lakeshore Learning products as I am? (all the items featured in this post are from them!) If so, you’ll be happy to know I have an exclusive 20% off code just for you! So shop around a little bit and pick up something new for your next lesson. Also, don’t forget to share what you choose! Tag Lakeshore Learning and Munchkins and Moms in a picture of your new learning supplies on Instagram, we would love to connect with you there!)