Farming and processing

Food is produced and processed in different ways.

Farming and processing

Activity 1 - Food is changed from farm to fork’ to make it safe to eat

Show children the Can I eat it? presentation.

Use the presentation to help children understand that we cannot eat food straight from its source, e.g. farm, sea, it has to be changed in some way. Sometimes it is just changed in a small way, such as being washed or peeled. Sometimes it has to be cooked or treated.  Establish that these changes are made to make food safe to eat.

Give children the What’s changed? cards. The children can cut out, match and stick the foods in their books. They can then write, or cut out and stick the Changing words cards, to show how the foods have changed between each picture.  You may wish to cut out and laminate the cards so they can be reused.


  • Broccoli: pick, cut, wash cook;
  • Potatoes: wash, cook;
  • Cucumber: pick, wash, cut;
  • Chicken: cook;
  • Beef: shape, cook;
  • Strawberries: pick, wash, cut;
  • Cod: cut, coat (with breadcrumbs), cook.


Activity 2 - ‘Farm to fork’ stages for some basic foods

Show the From wheat to breadCheese making and Milking videos and, in simple terms, talk about the different stages the food goes through before it can be eaten.

Show children the Farm to fork cards. Explain that they need to sequence the cards to show the different steps, from farm to fork, for different types of foods. There are three stages for each food. Demonstrate the activity to the children.

Children will be given the following examples:

  • bread: wheat > flour > bread
  • yogurt: cow > milk > yogurt
  • mashed potato: potato plant > potato > mashed potato
  • ham: pig > pork > ham
  • apple juice: apple tree > apple > apple juice
  • fish fingers: fish > fillet of fish > fish finger

Allow the children to work through this activity individually.

Recap with the children.

  • Can we always eat food straight from a farm? 
  • Why not?

Before we eat food it has to be changed.  Sometimes this might simply mean washing it, but it can also include cutting, milling, cooking and heat treating.

What happens to some of our foods before we eat them?

  • Carrots in the ground;
  • Wheat in the field;
  • Milk from a cow.

 Further activities

Organise a cooking session with the children to reinforce the changes food goes through before it is eaten.  For example, you could make some Soda bread to show how flour can be used after it has been produced from wheat.  Use the Soda bread video and Soda bread recipe to show children how it is done. 
You could also show other videos and their accompanying recipes as examples of dishes using foods the children have been learning about:

  • Welsh rarebit video – cheese
  • Winter salad video – carrot and apple

Why not organise a farm visit?

Visiting a farm is a great way for children to see first-hand where their food comes from.  If you are visiting a poultry or dairy farm, why not download one of the booklets below for children to complete during their visit?

5 - 7 YR
Can I eat it?

A presentation exploring what has to happen to food before it can be eaten.

5 - 7 YR
What's changed cards

Cards looking at changes from farm to fork.

Farming food for you - dairy

A poster about the dairy farm and farmer.

Farming food for you - beef cattle

A poster about the beef cattle farm and farmer.

Farming food for you - sheep

A poster about the sheep farm and farmer.

Farming food for you - potatoes

A poster about the potato farm and farmer.

Farming food for you - cereals

A poster about the cereal farm and farmer.

Farming food for you - pigs

A poster about the pig farm and farmer.


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