When I saw this picture online I instantly knew that I not only had to share it, but I also had to write about it. Why? When I’m in the classroom I’m front and center and fully aware that what I say and do is having a direct effect on my students. Dare I say, I know I am inspiring someone at some point during each class, or at least that is always a daily teaching goal. Yet, I often forget that when I am not in the classroom that I have (little) people in my life watching me and maybe even learning from me without my even realizing it.
My nieces came to visit a few days ago; they are four and five years old. And in between dress up time and watching a cartoon they came into the kitchen to chat with me while I made a snack. As I put fruit and yogurt into the blender to make a fruit smoothie they both stopped chatting and started watching what I was doing, and then they started asking lots of questions.
Why was I putting all of that fruit together? Why did I add a scoop of peanut butter (they both do not like peanut butter, which is very hard for me to comprehend as a peanut butter lover)? Why is the blender so loud? Every answer was met with another question. We talked a little about how fruit is healthy and how a smoothie is similar to fruit juice and how it’s different. They both like juice and forgot about the peanut butter then. In fact, we had quite an in-depth conversation about smoothies and fruit.
I was going through the motions and making a fruit smoothie, something I do several days a week, but on this day I stopped and really thought about what I was putting into my smoothie and why when I answered my nieces’ questions. As we watched the blender together I realized how my healthy snack gained and held their interest. The girls were watching and learning about healthy foods from me before I realized it and before our chat about smoothies had even begun.
My simple action of making a snack inspired them to ask questions, learn something new about healthy foods, and include healthy snacks in their diet. They ended the conversation asking me to have grapes in the house next time they visit (we were out of grapes, their favorite fruit) and could they put grapes in a smoothie but no peanut butter. Who would have thought you can inspire healthy eating in a four and five year old just by making a healthy snack in front of them in a very old and very loud blender?