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The pleasure of food

Throughout early years we place a high importance on the relationships that children develop with food and with each other at mealtimes. We wish to offer the children positive opportunities to encounter food, so that each child can construct a dialogue with and a personal path of eating habits and tastes. Our youngest children in EY0 have been preparing their own morning and afternoon snacks in collaboration with their teachers. This becomes a whole food experience rather than just the feeding of children. 

  • Pleasure of Food

We are reminded by Ilaria Cavallini,

“We must not forget that one of the most important links between people and food is the principle of pleasure; the pleasure that derives from using the senses but also the pleasure of discovery, the pleasure of manipulating raw materials to create foods, the pleasure of play and the pleasure of company, which at the table becomes conviviality.”

‘The Languages of Food recipes, experiences, thoughts’ by Reggio Children

How wonderful it was for the children to enter into new relationships with food as they prepare the food that they will eat, using their senses to come to understand the ingredients. Consider the marvelous task of making toast. The children put soft bread into the toaster and after a short time, they can smell the cooked bread and then out the toast pops all crunchy. Then the pleasure of spreading butter over the toast and observing it melt. Then the taste explosion of actually eating food that you have prepared. It is delightful how seeming everyday encounters can be filled with joy and such a wonderful stimulation of the senses. The smiles on the children’s faces and their desire to try the experiences again shows their pure enjoyment. 

The children are entering into a discovery of the immeasurable richness provided by good food. Food is a nutriment for the body but also for the mind, the eyes, the nose and the emotions.