As an early childhood professional, being a parent is not business as usual. My son is ‘expected’ to be an example of good behaviour and champion things such as healthy eating. The latter had become a challenge by the time he turned three. It was a struggle to get him to eat fruits and vegetables. Then came Muriel. She held a ‘mini’ workshop with the kids at my centre, that led them to play and develop a deeper understanding and a love for food.
The activity was centered on how the body works—our digestive systems with posters and pictures and what foods were good for us and then the kids played with the fruits..learning about the life cycle of the orange and saw the process from fruit to smoothie drink.
My son came back home, excited to tell us that fruits were alive. He wanted to be strong and grow well. Little did we know that he was pledging to practice what he had learned from ETON Foods. A few days later, he asked that we purchase oranges from the street hawker. Back home, we peeled and singled out the separates. His eyes twinkled as he savoured the pieces. I was in awe, how does one go from hating to loving so fast. As if that was not enough.I got the shock of my life when I wanted to throw away the seeds and peels . ‘Mama that’s wasting the fruit! We should plant the seeds and bury the peels. Then we can have our own orange tree!
~ Ariana O, Proprietress & Founder, Narnia Daycare, Freetown, Sierra Leone
Narnia Daycare is an early learning centre in Sierra Leone that provides a holistic care for its clients. We thought we were big on healthy foods and healthy eating. Not until Muriel came into our space. Then she showed us a completely different dimension into making love with food and sparking curiosity which encourages children to explore different foods and enjoy eating. Perhaps the greatest lessons we learnt had to do with fruits, vegetables and eating as many of the edible parts as possible.
Let’s start with oranges: The entire fruit must be eaten!!! You see, we normally peel and squeeze out the juice and throw away the ‘gut’. Muriel insisted that every part of the fruit is important, the peels, fibre, juice and seeds. Nowadays, our kids cherish digging into the oranges and separating the wedges. It serves us an extra benefit, enhancing their motor skills.
When serving cucumbers, our children benefit from the vitamins present in the skin. Even though Muriel insisted on quite the process to clean them. Locally cucumbers are peeled before serving, wasting away nutrients that we have now reclaimed! Our general assistants struggled with getting the children to eat their portions, Muriel shared some tips that transformed the process. Today our meal times are the happiest: messy floors, dirty aprons, empty plates and healthy children. Muriel, ETON Foods,… the work is fantastic, the kids were so engaged and as we have incorporated these ideas into our systems, we continue to see the effects to this day. We look forward to your next session. Thank you.
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