Here at the Edu-Care Centre in Big Bend, Swaziland, the Second School Term is always very exciting for the pupils. We are presently in the middle of winter and the cold weather seems to shake up our brains and encourage us to try new challenges.

Kindergarten pupils enjoying their home-made soupJunior Class pupils eating their soup

Our present Theme is HEALTHY FOOD, and the pupils are enjoying sampling different fruits and vegetables, as well as learning about their growth and production. Its great fun to learn about colours and shapes from the many and varied selections of vegetables and fruit which are available in our gardens in winter.

Aunty Rhodah and her Class enjoying their delicious fruit salad !Junior Class children sharing their fruit salad.

We have had several cooking and food preparation lessons, and throughout the school, pupils have been preparing vegetable soup and fruit salad. The pupils at The Edu-Care Centre prepare the vegetables and fruit themselves – with a little guidance from their teacher. Noses are wiped, hands are washed and sleeves rolled up! Children’s special cutting knives and boards are provided, and after washing the food, the children proceed to chop and slice. This is great fun, as most of the pupils do not get a chance to do this at home! The vegetables are then cooked in an electric pan under strict teacher supervision.

Yummy - this food is delicious!Teachers closely supervising food preparation

Hot soup is a winner with our children. The school supplies the soup powder and a few vegetables, but the pupils bring most of the produce from home. Winter gardens appear to be having very successful crops of green peppers, onions and spinach. As a parent, I can quite honestly say that if I had given my young sons a thick vegetable soup consisting mostly of green peppers and spinach and onion – it would most definitely not been eaten . Nevertheless, our pupils eat a helping of vegetable soup and usually ask for seconds! - quite obviously because they helped with the preparation. The teachers and I are really amazed to watch the Junior Class consuming full bowls of vegetable soup.

Tucking inCutting Apples

The pupils have also made fruit salad , with varieties of fruit which they chopped up and ate with jelly – really enjoying the different and varied textures and tastes.

Tucking inCutting Apples

Young children really do enjoy food preparation. Children as young as three years old can tear and chop spinach and most vegetables. One simply has to supervise and provide the correct tools.
Parents - this could be a great way to get your child to eat his/her vegetables without resorting to bribery !

Enjoy your winter vegetable garden !