Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Belly Is Thinking About It

When it comes to trying new foods, there is a conversation that takes place between the mind and the belly of a pre-schooler, and I have been trying to figure out who has the clout to make the final decision.
From conversations with three and four year olds it is unclear as to who of the personified mind or belly needs the most convincing.

As in my Power Play, Pretend Play blog entry, pretending to make and eat something new or creating a fun, integrated activity that builds up to the eating experience takes the stress out of the equation.

An example of this took place in the preschool classroom at Kidzone, Early Childhood Learning Center, in Pittsfield MA, this week.  In circle, the kids learned the Mother Goose nursery rhyme The 3 Little Kittens - you know, the ones who lost their mittens:

Three Little Kittens
Three little kittens,
They lost their mittens,
And they began to cry,
Oh, mother dear,
We sadly fear
Our mittens we have lost.
What! Lost your mittens,
You naughty kittens!
Then you shall have no pie.

The three little kittens,
They found their mittens,
And they began to cry,
Oh, mother dear,
See here, see here,
Our mittens we have found.
What! Found your mittens,
You good little kittens!
Then you shall have some pie.

Naturally, the rhyme lead to discussions about the kids' pet kittens or cats, their mittens and pie. At the art table, kids decorated pre-cut paper mittens with glue sticks and collage materials to form patterns. In the kitchen the kids made Doggity's better for you Grand Apple Pie. During naptime, their mittens were hidden by a teacher.  When the kids woke up they found their mittens like good little kittens and for snack they had  some pie (the one they made).

This morning, when they were told about the events of the day, one little girl said, "I think I'm going to try the pie, Miss Barb."Then after a moments thought she said,"I'm not so belly is thinking about it. I've never tried pie before."

Fast forward to snack time. "This is the first time I've tried pie and I like it! " said the little girl.

Doggity's Better for you Grand Apple Pie was a hit. Bellies Beware!!

Grandparents' Grand Apple Pie

Pie Crust
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 cup cold butter
4 to 6 tablespoons ice water

Pie Filling
5 cups peeled , sliced apples
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Crumb Topping
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons melted butter

Bottom Crust Directions
Preheat oven to 400° F.
1. In medium bowl combine flour, sugar and salt.  Add butter by cutting into flour mixture with pastry cutter until butter is the size of small peas.
2.  Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time mixing well after each addition. Dough will form a ball when enough water has been added. Gather dough with dry hands and form into ball.
3. Let rest for 5 minutes.
4. On lightly floured board roll dough into circle.  Place in 9-inch pie pan. Pinch edges of crust if desired or press edges with fork.

1. Mix filling ingredients together in separate bowl.
2. Mix topping ingredients in another bowl.
3. Place filling in crust; sprinkle on topping.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned.
Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.

Makes one 9-inch pie. 

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