Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Jamie Oliver has nothing on Switzerland

There is a lively discussion on a message board I visit about Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. Usually I don't watch anything that isn't a fake crime drama but I was interested to see who this Jamie Oliver character was and what he had to say about school lunches and processed food.

Toward the end of episode 2, Jamie tells the cooks and the principal that the kids would need a knife and fork. The reaction was priceless. It was like he asked them to give the kids a machete, not a butter knife. This brings me to kindergarten life in Switzerland.

Every Friday, big girl spends the morning (8:15 - 12) in the forest. They build a fire (the kids drag sticks for firewood), play games, sing songs, and all those other things kids do in the forest. A couple of weeks ago I went with because big girl was upset about leaving me. That week the lesson was "whittling a stick with their own Swiss Army knife." I have to admit, I was a little shocked by the idea of giving my 4 year old a Swiss Army knife and sending her into the forest with a little - but really not much - supervision.

All the kids were taught how to open the knife, cut away from their body, and close the knife with their jacket sleeve. I am not sure how much my big girl (age 4, nonspeaker of Swiss-German) understood so I will be going to school with her until her Swiss-German gets better or the end of the year.

Oh, and the Swiss eat everything with a knife and fork. Even pizza. The kids definitely know how to use one by age 4.

I have a cold and really need to go to bed but next post will be about the kids' food.

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