Sunday, September 25, 2011

Homemade allergy food posters

Like most toddlers and preschoolers, my munchkins think stickers and gloopy glue is the absolute bomb.
Transferring stickers from a sticker sheet to a plain piece of paper is a favorite pass time according to Little miss and my little man simply loves applying glue to anything, weather it be glue in a stick, tube or brushing it onto a object.

Since this morning was a tad windy outside and my munchkins are still winding down from a busy weekend I thought we could take the opportunity to do something crafty while we were inside.

Will loads of junk mail catalogues on the kitchen bench I saw an opportunity to prepare a craft that not only my munchkins would enjoy, but it as a great thing to strengthen their knowledge of their own food allergies.

I sat down and cut different food items out of the catalogues and some magazines we had, making sure I was cutting out items that my children would recognise, clear pictures and nothing too tricky, both safe foods and not safe.

Next I went to the craft cupboard and found the sticky backed foam sheets and cut out the letter's to create 'SAFE'' and 'NOT SAFE'' as well as a big tick and cross. (you can get foam sheets from most cheap shops such as Crazy Clark's, reject shop etc)

Armed with two big white pieces of paper and telling the munchkins we were going to make some super dooper food posters to go next to our play kitchen....the fun began.

I showed them the foam letter stickers and let them help me find the correct letters to create the different poster titles - 'SAFE' and 'NOT SAFE'
This proved a good way to allow them to use letter recognition and the added fun of peeling and sticking each letter on the paper, rather than Mummy just writing the words on the paper.

The munchkins went through the small basket of food pictures, one by one taking turns to apply the glue and stick on the correct poster as to weather the particular food was safe or  not safe for their current allergies.
Each food item that came out of the basket created much conversation between the munchkins and I was surprised as to how much they actually knew about what they could and could not eat. They knew straight away whether most of the foods were safe or not and only had to ask mummy about some of the tricky ones in packets.

They had so much fun even sticking, gluing and being "very clever big boy and big girl" :P
They didn't even notice that they were learning more about their food allergies, they certainly did make mummy proud!

The result is two fantastic looking homemade food poster's with very clear ,simple, accurate and visual messages to stick up in our play kitchen area.
  • A silent constant reminder to the munchkins about their allergies,
  • a insight to adult visitors that come to our home
  • an education tool for little friends into what foods Thalia and Declan can eat
  • a display of a art that my munchkins can be proud of and share with others
  • creates opportunities for allergy conversations
Here are the finished posters...

I think this activity is a great way for a child to learn about their food allergies, or to non allergic children to learn more about nutrition and what are "all the time foods" (veggies, fruit, bread etc) and "sometimes foods" (cupcakes, lollies, ice cream etc).

The activity can be as simple or complicated as it needs to be, it can easily be adjusted for different ages. For example to make it age appropriate for a young allergy teenager you might cut out food labels (safe and not safe for the particular child's allergies) and allow them to look, read and ascertain whether the product is safe or not. You could also use different recipes with two folders for the child to sort out which recipes are safe for them.

I'm definitely going to revisit this activity when my munchkins get a little older.


Oscar's Mum said...

I love this idea. I'll have to try it with Oscar.

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