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Food and drink: Newspapers in education, week six

This article has been specially written for thousands of pupils from across Northern Ireland who are doing the Belfast Telegraph cross-curricular project themed on Food and Drink. Over the six weeks we focused on celebrating food and drink produced in Northern Ireland, looked at specific products, popular recipes as well as healthy eating and drinking. Today in our final week we consider how food plays a big part in fictional children’s stories.

Food in fiction

Food glorious food. We love to eat it, cook it and talk about it. We also love to read about it.

For children there is food everywhere in their books. It is mentioned in fairy tales, nursery rhymes and fictional stories.

Food is at the centre of some of the most popular fairy tales.

Take Goldilocks and the Three Bears for example. Porridge plays a big part in that story.

In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, an apple has a key role.

Consider other fairy tales such as Jack and the Beanstalk and The Princess and the Pea and think of the food associated with each one.

You will see pumpkins all over the shops for Halloween. Which well known fairy tale character had a pumpkin turned into a carriage by her Fairy Godmother so that she could go to the ball?

Hansel and Gretel is a fairy tale with food references everywhere, from them dropping breadcrumbs to find their way home at the start of the story to discovering a large cottage built of gingerbread and cakes.

Nursery rhymes are also filled with food.

It may be obvious what is on the menu in 'Pat a cake, pat a cake' and 'One a penny, two a penny hot cross buns', but do you know what food is mentioned in 'One, two, three, four, five' or 'This little piggy went to market'? Maybe our illustrations can help you.

Sometimes nursery rhymes have more than one type of food included such as in 'Little Jack Horner sat in a corner'. A plum is one. A pie is another.

Plums and pies are also in Simple Simon.

Then there are the famous fictional characters that children enjoy reading about or watching on television or at the movies.

What does Winnie the Pooh love to eat? You've guessed it... honey.

In contrast Paddington Bear prefers marmalade sandwiches.

Roald Dahl is a favourite author with children and loved to have food in his stories. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach are two of his books in which food is very important.

Pupil Factfile

Name: Conall Muldoon

School: St Patrick's Primary School, The Loup

Age: 10

Class: P6

Favourite dinner to eat and why: I love Pizza because you can eat it with your hands and it even tastes good cold.

Favourite food to make and why: I like to make marble cake with my mum because it's fun to mix all the ingredients and make a bit of a mess.

Favourite sandwich filling: If it's a toasted sandwich cheese, but if it's not toasted just jam on its own.

Favourite lunchbox treat: Chocolate chip cookies or shortbread.

One, Two, Three, Four, Five

One, two, three, four, five,

Once I caught a fish alive,

Six, seven, eight, nine, ten,

Then I let it go again.

Why did you let it go?

Because it bit my finger so.

Which finger did it bite?

This little finger on the right.

Simple Simon

Simple Simon met a pieman,

Going to the fair;

Says Simple Simon to the pieman,

Let me taste your ware.

Says the pieman to Simple Simon,

Show me first your penny;

Says Simple Simon to the pieman,

Indeed I have not any.

Simple Simon went a-fishing,

For to catch a whale;

All the water he had got,

Was in his mother’s pail.

Simple Simon went to look

If plums grew on a thistle;

He pricked his fingers very much,

Which made poor Simon whistle.

This Little Piggy

This little piggy went to market,

This little piggy stayed home,

This little piggy had roast beef

This little piggy had none,

And this little piggy cried wee

wee wee all the way home

Did you know?

Did you know that in the book Peter Rabbit there are several mentions of food early on with one passage relating to Peter reading: “First he ate some lettuces and some French beans; and then he ate some radishes, and then, feeling rather sick, he went to look for some parsley.” Beatrix Potter was the author of Peter Rabbit.

Belfast Telegraph


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