''How Did That Get In My Lunchbox?: The Story of Food'' has been named the recipient of the 2012 Ohio Farm Bureau Award for Children's Literature.
The book connects children to the food in their lunchboxes by showing the effort and skill needed to produce foods such as bread, cheese, apple juice and chocolate chip cookies. This brightly illustrated book is written for ages 5 to 8 reading level and grades kindergarten to second.
Author Chris Butterworth introduces children to the concepts of natural, capital and human resources, often among the first set of economic concepts that children are expected to learn in the primary grades. Readers are also introduced to the basic food groups and given tips on healthful eating.
Children can relate firsthand to these ideas when they think about the roles of farms, food processing facilities, and transportation networks in producing their lunchbox foods.
The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has produced an educator's guide and a Food Connection classroom or cafeteria poster to accompany this book. These and other educational resources are available at www.AgFoundation.org under "Education Materials," then "Books of the Year."
Ohio Farm Bureau members have placed high value on identifying great children's literature that will interest young people in agriculture. Not just in 2012, but for many years.
Here are some recent winners: ''Seed, Soil Sun Earth's Recipe for Food'' by Chris Peterson. This book highlights the process by which air and water combine with seed, soil and sun to create nearly all the food we eat. Written by twins, Rianna and Sheridan Chaney, ''Mini Milk Maids on the Moove,'' is about their personal experience in the dairy industry. The 2009 winner was a book written by Peggy Thompson, ''Farmer George Plants a Nation.'' This story focuses on George Washington's life as a farmer, inventor and scientist. These books, others, and many resources are available at the Ohio Farm Bureau website.
I hope you look for ''How Did That Get in My Lunchbox?'' It is a fun and educational way for children to learn where their food comes from!
Mary Smallsreed is a member of Trumbull County Farm Bureau and grew up on a family dairy farm in northeast Ohio.