We had a kind invitation out of the blue this week to join a group of fellow home educated children on a Tesco Farm to Fork outing at our local store.
It’s something I’ve seen on their notice boards that they offer to local schoolchildren as part of their ‘Eat Happy’ commitment to help combat childhood obesity by encouraging a good relationship with food.
The basis of this good relationship is knowing where food comes from and how it ends up on the supermarket shelves, and throughout the trip round the store the provenance of each food and how it is transported, stored and produced is covered. They hope that it will also encourage children and families to try something different – our bunch of explorers certainly did, with cheese tasting and exploring exotic fruits amongst other things.
One of the highlights was the bakery trip where, as well as seeing how the dough is made and turned into bread, we all got to add our choice of extra ingredients to make our own bread rolls. Ollie made a cheese and seed slug with raisins for eyes.
I liked the look of the proving oven – that would be very useful for getting a speedy rise on my bread on cold mornings!
We were blown away by how helpful and informative the ladies running the session and all of the staff involved were. They really made the kids feel special, speaking to them by name and taking time to talk to them not just at them – a really interactive educational session rather than a quick tour around.
The amount of opportunities to get hands on was perfect too – feeling the flour, smelling the yeast, tasting the pancakes. The worksheets were good too, giving us an opportunity to have some writing and reading practice as well as something to share with family when we got home.
Ollie really enjoyed the fruit and vegetable scavenger hunt and picked Okra as his unusual vegetable to show the group (we’ve enjoyed it frozen from a Chinese Supermarket in Croydon before but it’s not something we see fresh very often).
We were given a lesson in different types of seafood and where they’re from, and a demonstration of filleting a fish and shelling a prawn. We even got a chance to experience life in the chiller and in the freezer – I would not like to be a tub of icecream at -21oC! Brrr.
I had heard these visits were good, but I am really grateful to all the staff who made it so memorable. I am also very grateful to the home edding mum who organised it and invited us, and the other mums who welcomed us into their group and made us feel a part of it. It was a bit tricky when Toby found out where we had been while he was at nursery, but hopefully the bribe of a sticker book has done the trick and he’s forgiven us now. If you have children over 5 (and are in the UK) and have the chance to get involved in one of these free sessions I would definitely recommend it.
Note – I’ve linked to the ‘Eat Happy’ page for information only and because there are good resources there, but have no affiliation with Tesco (other than occasional product testing).