One of my favorite times at school is during lunch time. It's the one time of day when we can just talk and since children tend to be egocentric, and they are eating at the time of the conversation, much of the time we end up talking about food. I can't tell you how many times they've said to me, "How do they make _____?" Fill in the blank with pretty much any food product that your average four- or five-year-old would be familiar with: pizza, tomatoes, cake, yogurt. We've traced the life of these foods from seed to plate (or animal to plate, as the case may be), and the children are always fascinated by it. They want to know.
Having said this, I can't tell you how frustrating it can be to see what some of them have in their lunches. Go-gurt, hot dogs, Nutella sandwiches, Chik-fil-A. I'm not saying that these items are proof that the children are on their way to packing insulin injections next to their chocolate milk, but they sit in front of me every day, primed and energetic to really learn about their food, and they are eating crap. They don't know that they are eating crap; they're just eating what has been given to them. And most of them enjoy healthy food, especially when they have a hand in growing it or at the very least preparing it. It's such a tragedy, and I often find myself getting discouraged - how will my mission ever succeed?
Today, I happened to have some pickles in my lunch. One child asked me why I had them, and I replied, "Oh, I don't know, I was just in the mood for them - I haven't had them in a long time." Another child heard this and said, "Is that because they weren't in season?"
Maybe I am helping a little bit.