Food has got to be one of my favorite things to think about and I love sharing food related experiences with the children. Recently I ate some of the best hummus of my life at a new Israeli restaurant (ask me where if you’re curious), and I am on a quest to recreate it with the children. We have made it before and they really enjoyed both the experience of preparing it and eating it! The first time we made it I realized we didn’t do much to prepare them for the experience.
Some children are skeptical of foods that are outside of their eating norms, so I wanted to give them a point of reference for this food. So today we started with some bean play in the sensory bins. I introduced the dried garbanzo beans into the bins with some simple cooking tools that we will use when we make hummus tomorrow. Giving them the chance to sensorially explore the dried beans, I’m hoping, will give them a deeper understanding of the main ingredient to this wonderful food. This reminds me of the reasons we started some of our garden plants from a single tiny seed-seeing a seed sprout and turn into food makes that learning visible and more concrete for young children.
The children had so much fun with the beans! I think playing with them engaged many of their senses. The feel of the beans between their fingers was interesting. The sound of the garbanzos hitting the bottom of the sensory bins was loud and exciting. The texture of the dried beans seemed new to them. Tomorrow when we process the beans and Elm House grown garlic I hope that the smells will speak to them. And then of course the taste of the freshly made hummus, yum!
What’s your favorite hummus in town? Have you noticed your children enjoying foods from different cultures?