Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Questions, Food, and Mini-Blogger

Regular readers will know that we've been looking on and off at the topic of the Human Body, using games, online quizzes, TV programmes, books - and just lots of the boys' own natural questions.  Take this question from Eldest the other day (after seeing a trailer for a TV programme showing a live birth): "why does it hurt ladies to have babies?"  I love questions like that: they always throw the subconscious prude in me slightly and I have to gather myself to give a sensible answer that doesn't overload the asker with too much information, but does give them the information they want at a level they can understand without glossing over "the embarrassing bits".  Anyway, Eldest (and his brothers who were listening) got an impromptu chat over the kitchen table (why do they always ask these kind of questions while we're eating?) - we talked about contractions, with all the boys tensing their muscles for a long time to see who could do it the longest, and whether it hurt - we covered the size of the hole that babies come out of versus the size of a babies head, and and of course we had the inevitable comparisons with "the biggest poo I ever did".  I guess boys are fixated with showing off poo sizes because they don't get to boast about baby weights in the same way new mothers do!

All of this Human Body stuff has led nicely on to further learning too - the boys have been taking an interest in which foods are good for which parts of their bodies (especially the ones that help them grow big muscles!)  I have been concerned for quite a while about the food that they eat (or don't eat: Youngest in particular has a total aversion to fruit & vegetables), so I jumped on their curiosity as an opportunity to do something about it.  I think everyone must be aware of the government's "five-a-day" campaign for healthy eating - as you know, I intensely dislike governmental interference on a personal level (and actually, healthy living requires much more than five fruit or veg a day because modern farming methods have left the soil so depleted of nutrients that we don't get the same goodness from - say - a carrot, as we would have done fifty years ago) - and I have an allergy to shoulds (as in 'should eat five a day'!).  Anyway despite my loathing for all things 'nanny-state',  I have really been wanting to find a way for the boys to be aware of the dietary choices they make, so I started looking for a good resource or two to help us.  Having posted a request for recommendations on Facebook, a friend quickly passed this link to me: Nourish Interactive, with Chef Solus.  It's American, but I haven't found any vocabulary issues as yet - and the free printables are great; there are loads of them!  So we've used it as the basis for our own "My Plate" project.

Alongside all the learning we've been doing about food groups etc, we drew around some plates and made our own big plates, all different colours and border designs.  Next we drew up large sheets for each of the five main food groups (named and colour-coded a la Chef Solus), and found lots of clip art of different foods that we laminated and cut out to allocate to each food group.

The rest is simple: when we eat something, it gets moved from the food group onto our 'plates' - the idea being that at the end of their evening meal, the boys (and Hubby and I) will be able to see how balanced their meals were over the day.  Creating it all has taken us a week, on and off... we just need to use it now!  We started on it this morning, and quickly realised we need extras of cereal, and a variety of meats - among other things that I expect we'll discover as we go along - but hopefully it will prove useful!

Of course, that's not all we've been doing - there have been some lovely pictures made, books read, games played, online curricula completed, hedgehogs putting on weight, visits to friends, and diary written in.  I've run out of time though, - so I'll leave you with a bit from Eldest.  I'm just so pleased that he's kept his diary up, and made it something to treasure...
23rd November 2012
Going to J's house in Devon today!
look a..................................
my first wild hawk I've ever seen in my life!
I'm in J's house and playing nerf guns!
24th November 2012
I like it here.
Went to some place where Mummy and I bought J an early Christmas present
25th November 2012
Did the longest walk I've ever done in the rain with no waterproof trousers!..............
the house... why am I hugging the house?
going home
oh well.
27th November 2012
Woodpecker in the garden!
27 days until Christmas!
Wild Tales on in 7 mnutes!
happy me
I just saw my first goldfinch WOW
Grandma and Auntie A just got here
Just went to get a filling now I'm numb.  I like being numb.


  1. Lovely post! Great ideas! Wondered if any of the sites on this post are of interest: http://rossmountney.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/food-for-thought-and-thought-for-food/ xx