Teaching the Beans about the origin of cereal
Sometimes i have to admit my Beans and their neverending list of questions drive me potty, especially when i am flagging after a long day BUT then I remind myself of something a man said to me as I rolled my eyes at him when one of them asked me the umpteenth question that afternoon “if they don’t ask questions Mum, they will never learn anything”. I felt like coming back with some witty retort but I knew he was right. It’s good that my Beans are so inquisitive because they are eager to learn, they really do want to know more about the world around them.
Living where we do, we are very close to open fields where the landscape is always changing, and this is great for teaching them about where their breakfast comes from and about sustainable farming. When we set out for a walk it isn’t always my intention for it to turn into a lesson but if they ask the questions and notice the changes around them then we discuss them.
Beanie Boy has always been interested in food and had obviously been doing a lot of talk at preschool about where certain foods and drink come from because he will often say to me “milk comes from cows” or “crisps come from potatoes”. So last year when we were walking through a wheat field, he asked me “Mummy what is this?” and I replied “it’s wheat”. After mulling it over in his mind for a few more minutes he said “how do you eat it?”. So I decided to give him a lesson in where the wheat starts from and ends up. We took a seat in the field and I asked him to cast his mind back to when we walked through the field and it was just a big muddy mess. He said he remembered because we got all messy and it wasn’t easy to walk through as it was lumpy bumpy. I had told him then how it had been ploughed to ‘mix up’ the soil so that any remaining plants, weeds and seeds will break down under the soil and to bring new nutrients to the surface. (I think he was following me). So next I explained how the farmer then planted lots of seeds in the soil and given lots of water to help it grow over time into the wheat where we were sitting. Again he asked “how do you eat it though?” so I told him about the combine harvesters we had seen in other fields and how they would come along and take the wheat away and pull the seeds out of the husks and that the farmer would then send it to the man who makes his breakfast cereals where it would be milled, dried and toasted into yummy breakfast flakes.
Given half the chance I swear the Beans would eat a whole box of cereals each for breakfast, they just can’t get enough of the stuff but I’m happy because I know they are getting something healthy inside their tummies to set them up for the day. Most breakfast cereals these days are fortified with vitamins and minerals as well as the whole grain which means they are getting a good source of energy-boosting carbohydrates and tummy-cleansing fibre in their diet, coupled with a splash of milk for their calcium and that’s a great bowl of goodness before they have even left the house.
This year when out on one of our walks he noticed that it wasn’t wheat growing in the field as it had been replaced by Canola (Rapeseed) and wanted to know where the wheat had gone so I was able to explain to him that the farmer has to change what he plants in his fields. I told him that if he was to eat the same things over and over again every single day, his tummy wouldn’t be very happy and it wouldn’t act how his tummy should so just like how he eats different things every day to keep himself healthy and happy, the farmer has to put different crops in his fields to make his soil healthy and happy too.
Should you have an inquisitive little farmer like my Beanie Boy you might like this video from Kellogg’s Little Farmers which reinforces everything I had explained to him, or failing that just head out into the fields and see for yourself.
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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Kellogg’s via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Kellogg’s.