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Food a Shared Living-and-Learning

by Nadine L. McCrea
May/June 2002
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/food-a-shared-living-and-learning/5014549/

I still vividly recall the food tasting experiences of a small group of children with special needs that I worked with years ago (McCrea, 1981). One boy was chronologically about age eight but mentally an infant; he was difficult in every sense of the word, including being a very fussy eater. However, when we (children, parents, and I) made Chinese steamed buns and fried rice one morning, he ate every grain of rice in his bowl and he ate them one by one with chopsticks! Everyone was astonished that he even ate the rice, let alone all of it and with chopsticks. Similarly, years later when I worked with staff and children at a local child care centre, I found that both children and educators were more adventurous tasters if they were actively involved with foods across a foodcycle.

This article presents a philosophical and practical approach to food and food learning for young children and the significant adults that they interact with. The focal ideas discussed below represent food as . . . being shared with others, being everywhere and everyday, and being viewed and explored across a foodcycle within both families and early childhood education settings. Several interactive workshop tasks ...

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