Activity time: 60 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Quilts to sit on
- Vegetables, grains, legumes, and (if no allergies) nuts in their natural, just-harvested state
- Implements such as a nutcracker or a pocket knife for preparing portions
Preparation for Activity
- Locate an indoor or outdoor spot, away from your usual meeting place, where participants can picnic on quilts.
- Check with children's parents about food allergies. Clarify which foods you must avoid.
- Obtain quilts to spread on the floor or ground.
- Obtain a picnic basket. Pack implements (such as a nutcracker), hand sanitizer, and paper napkins for all participants.
- Purchase fresh vegetables in their natural state (but washed of dirt), such as carrots with their tops, radishes, and celery stalks with leaves and roots, a variety of unsalted nuts in their shells (if there are no allergies in your group); whole grains such as brown rice, oats, and wild rice; and, legumes in their hard, uncooked form, such as black beans, split peas, kidney beans, lentils, or chick peas.
- Optional: Purchase some prepared carrots, nuts, peas, beans, etc. to demonstrate the difference.
Description of Activity
In your own words explain:
Henry David Thoreau's simple way of life included his food. When he lived in his cottage in the woods, he often ate fruits and vegetables and natural foods he could find in the woods near his cottage. Today we will share a snack picnic and try some of the simple foods that Henry David Thoreau might have eaten when he lived in the cottage.
Gather the group, your quilt(s), and the picnic basket you have prepared. Bring participants to the indoor or outdoor location you have chosen. Settle the group in a circle on the quilt(s). Pass hand sanitizer so all may clean their hands.
Present, identify, and pass around the simple foods you have chosen to share. Explain that food is most nutritious - best for your body - when you eat it in the form closest to the way it is grown. A fresh apple has more nutrition than a cup of applesauce. Applesauce is apples that have been cooked, and sugar and preservatives may have been added to them.
Let children taste some of the foods and share comments. Clean up and return to the meeting space.
Including All Participants
Check with parents to verify all children's ability to eat all of the foods you wish to include. Adapt the menu as necessary.