“Finish your supper. There are starving kids in Africa.” How many times did you hear that when you were growing up? I heard it from my mother … a lot.
But that phrase went right over my head at such a young age. I really didn’t understand there were children my own age who didn’t have nutritious food to eat — or anything to eat at all.
It can be hard for parents and grandparents to broach the subject of hunger and poverty with young children, so we’ve provided some resources to help you start the discussion. Here are some activity sheets you can download, print, and work on with the kids in your life.
Check out these activities:
Search for food
This word search is a fun challenge, but it will also open the door for you to talk to your kids about children living in poverty, especially those living in impoverished countries around the world. For example, as you search for food-related words, you can explain that many children have to go out and physically search for food in order to survive.
Talk to your kids about what food they wouldn’t want to live without. It’s the perfect segue to discuss why many kids go to bed hungry each night. Explain how some parents can’t afford to buy healthy food; how numerous children are orphans living in refugee camps, or how some live in countries experiencing famine.
Color your favorite meal
This activity is a creative way to get to know your children or grandchildren better. Maybe you’ll find out they don’t actually love spaghetti like you thought! But most importantly, this coloring sheet is a great teaching tool.
On the coloring sheet, there are many different types of food: bread, vegetables, fruit, and more. But there are also pictures of things your children will NEVER want to eat, such as grass or food from the garbage.
Have your children color only the pictures of food they would want on their plates. Talk about having a balanced diet with a good mix of fruits and veggies. But, also point out the things they didn’t choose and how many children are forced to eat whatever they can find just so they can put something in their empty stomachs.
Set aside change for hungry children
Your children or grandchildren will likely have questions as you discuss hunger and poverty —and hopefully they will want to learn more about how they can help.
Suggest a family activity of raising money for one hungry child. For $40 your family can help feed a child for an entire year.
While $40 may seem like a lot for young children, reassure them that every dollar they raise can help impact a life.
Or for the more ambitious family, try doing fundraisers in your community or at your church. Raising money to help fight hunger can bring your family closer together —while helping to save lives.