Jewish communities in Canada and around the world celebrate Tu B’Shevat on the 15th day of the month of Shevat in the Jewish calendar. In 2019, it falls on January 21st. It is known as the New Year for Trees and it is common to eat fruit and in some parts of the world to also plant trees.
Here are the fruits most commonly eaten:
• Dates—these could be a choking hazard for children 4 years and under. Consider soaking and pureeing them to use as a base for a healthy dessert like Energy Balls (see our recipe section).
• Grapes symbolize beauty. Cut grapes lengthwise and into small pieces for children 4 years and under.
• Pomegranates are the majestic fruit. If the seeds are too challenging for younger children, consider using the bright pink flesh to ‘colour’ water
• Figs symbolize endurance or longevity.
• Olives and especially their oil are considered the foundation of life. Cut pitted olives lengthwise and into small pieces for children 4 years and under. Or serve extra virgin olive oil as a dip for whole grain bread.
Celebrate protecting the earth
Many communities organize ecological activities and events that express dedication to protecting the earth and the bounty it provides. Consider an arts and crafts project around trees! Have children draw, paint or cut and glue to create a beautiful tree. Show pictures of how the above fruits are grown and harvested from trees or vines. Learning where our food comes from is a key aspect of food literacy for 0-5 year olds.