Yesterday, I did a fiber lesson for 2 preschool classes, which meant that I talked about poop A LOT. I was expecting lots of squeals and giggles every time I said the word “poop,” but the kids didn’t blink an eyelash once. They were utterly FASCINATED, though.
First, we looked at a long plastic tube and I explained that their bodies have an even longer tube that winds through our bellies, called intestines. Its job is to take nutrients out of food and pass them through to the rest of our bodies. Any part of the food it doesn’t need turns into poop, so our bodies can get rid of it.
We talked about how there are two kinds of fiber. One is like a sponge (soluble fiber) and it makes our poop nice and soft, so that it slides out of our bodies without being too hard or messy. The kids played with sponges to soak up water and clean the table, just like fiber does to the inside of our bodies.
The other kind of fiber (insoluble fiber) is like a brush and it helps our poop move through our body so we can poop every day without it giving us a belly ache. The kids felt a bristle brush and we talked about how it’s similar to the peel of an apple, etc.
After that I used play-dough to show them what healthy poop looks like (smooth and soft, kind of like a hot dog). Then we talked about how we can always look at our poop (with our eyes, not our hands!) for clues if our body needs more fiber. If their poop is hard or lumpy, they should drink more water and ask their parents for some yummy fruits and vegetables!
A lot of the kids were relieved to learn that there are things they can do so that it doesn’t hurt when they poop. Others were excited to know that it would make it easier to wipe.
All-in-all, it made me realize how little we talk to our kids about what poop is and how what we eat can make the pooping experience so much better. Even as the mom of 2 preschoolers, I’ve never talked to my kids about poop in this way until yesterday. I’m always just rushing them to the bathroom in time to avoid the dreaded undies smear.
Has anyone else ever used a good, old fashioned poop talk to help kids see the benefit of eating fruits and veggies?
[UPDATE (3/29/14) — I’ve heard from several of the kids’ parents, saying that their kids are asking for more fruits and veggies….and eating them! Woot woot!]