Animals eat too
Building food literacy in the 0-5 age group involves teaching children where food comes from and how it is produced. Raising animals is an important part of food and culture around the world and can be a great activity for kids. Some animals eat meat (carnivores), some eat plants (herbivores) and some eat both (omnivores), just like humans. Animals eat differently than people do—they don’t use cutlery. Explore different ways animals eat.
Consider the following ways to incorporate this theme:
• Visit a farm. A dairy or chicken farm is so much fun for children and helps connect them to where their food comes from.
• Invite a farmer, or even a neighbor who raises chickens, to visit and discuss what and how the animals are fed.
• Read books and sing songs. From classics like “Old McDonald Had A Farm”, build in concepts around what the animals eat.
• Arts and crafts. Draw or paint pictures of animals and what they eat.
• Matching game. Print out photos of real animals and the food they eat and make a game of matching the food to the animal (e.g. horses and oats or apples; fish and seaweed; birds and seeds; rabbits and lettuce, etc.).
• Play acting. Have one or two children act as farmers while the other children act like various animals. The farmers have to feed the animals using cut outs of different animal foods.
• Remember to water! Water is essential to animals’ lives just as it is to humans.
Enjoy reading this book with children to learn more about what animals eat. “Do Cows Eat Cake? A Book About What Animals Eat” by Michael Dal (2003).