Resources for Teaching Children the Science of Food Preservation

Summertime is often a good time to introduce children to hands-on experiences that use skills learned in school. Food Preservation is one such activity that uses reading, math, and science principles. It is also a great way to teach new or life skills, pass on family activities, and enjoy produce all year long.

Children learning preservation skills from grandmother and grandfather

Activities should be geared to the child’s age and/or ability. Young children may enjoy slicing bananas and dehydrating them. Older children may enjoy making strawberry jam for the freezer or canning for shelf storage. Every food preservation adventure should begin with clean hands, equipment, workspace, and fresh, quality fruits or vegetables. If the project includes canning, a tested recipe from a reliable source should be chosen. Easy, tested recipes can be found with the National Center for Home Food Preservation, USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning, Mrs. Wages mixes, or Sure-Jell/Ball® pectin.

Sometimes, having a teaching guide is helpful for ideas or how-tos. Some resources to use with children learning food preservation include:

If you love home food preservation, share your enthusiasm with a child. It is a lifelong skill and a great bonding experience!

Marlene Geiger

I am a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a BS in Home Economics Education and Extension and from Colorado State University with a MS in Textiles and Clothing. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, gardening, quilting, cooking, sewing, and sharing knowledge and experience with others.

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