Try it. You might like it.
This year, we are starting something new. It’s called “New Food Friday”. The idea is that, each Friday, someone (a parent, student, volunteer or teacher) will bring in a food for everyone to try. It will be something that most of the students probably have not tried before. This should be a really fun addition to our classroom, but it is also an important learning tool. Here are some of the benefits:
- Trying new foods expands their palates and helps them discover new flavors.
- This will encourage healthy choices. Eating healthy foods is something that we focus on during snack and lunch. This new program will show them how many interesting and healthy choices are out there just waiting to be eaten.
- We will integrate New Food Fridays, whenever possible, into other areas of learning such as science and social studies. For example, trying foods from other parts of the world will give them a deeper understanding of other cultures. And making homemade herb butter can be incorporated into a science lesson about liquids and solids.
- We are also working to improve language skills. After the students try each new food, they discuss it. They answer questions about why they did or did not like the food, and they learn how to describe it accurately.
For our first New Food Friday, we tried steamed shrimp dumplings. The dumplings were chosen because the younger students read The Funny Little Woman last week. Somewhat to my surprise, the dumplings were a BIG hit! Almost all of the students liked them. And they are excited about trying something new each Friday. For the first couple of weeks, the teachers will provide the new food. However, we will soon be asking parents and students to sign up for future weeks.