Lockdown Day 25 – AEL – Making a fruit salad
Activities of Everyday Living
Healthy development is all about learning to develop one’s body physically, cognitively, linguistically, emotionally and socially. During the child’s very early years, this possibility for development rests on the support and opportunities that the child receives from the adults in her/his environment.
Food preparation is an important part of healthy development that has many far-reaching benefits.
* PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT – Gross and fine motor skills are engaged in all food preparation activities. We balance, locomote and manipulate objects. We use hand-eye coordination, bilateral coordination and we cross our midlines. All crucial developmental skills.
* COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT – Where do we even start? There are shape lessons, colour lessons, size lessons, weight lessons, texture lessons, olfactory (smell) lessons, gustatory (taste) lessons… all just waiting to happen here!
* LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT – As above – the kitchen is a wonderful place for the development of vocabulary, language, and grammar skills. Think of all the nouns (naming words), the verbs (action words), adjectives (words describing nouns) and adverbs (words describing actions) that the child can be introduced to.
* EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT – Food binds people together – in preparation and in eating. How often do you have the time to enjoy preparing a meal together? The emotional ties and attachments created during these times cannot be replaced with any academic learning.
* SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT – Mealtimes are a time for social learning, conversation and togetherness. We learn many social conventions, traditions and cultural considerations over food.
So – now that we know why we are doing this, let’s get on with…
* MAKING A FRUIT SALAD *
One way of getting the child engaged in food preparation is by having an assortment of interesting ‘gadgets’ and ‘tools’.
- Invite the child to help you make the fruit salad for the next meal.
- Ask the child to help you to collect all the necessary utensils required – chopping board, bowl, dish towel (for wiping hands), tools and gadgets. Some ideas: a knife (yes!), a peeler, a melon scoop, an apple corer, a zester, a grater, a citrus squeezer… anything you have!
- Now invite the child to choose the fruit that s/he would like to add to the salad. Sort this into fruit that must be washed and fruit that needs to be peeled.
- Invite the child to wash the fruit, and at the same time wash her/his hands.
- Once everything is ready at the workspace, start making the salad.
MAKING THE SALAD
- There are no fixed rules here other than just gently guiding the child to do it all her/himself with assistance only where required.
- Demonstrate how the tools and gadgets are used, and then allow the child to explore them. Remember to use rich language all the way through.
- Once the salad has been completed, engage the child in cleaning up the workspace.
- Discuss what will be done with the waste – can it be put out for the birds? Do you have a compost heap?