Raising compassionate kids

Originally posted by Feeding America

“Mom, I’m huuunnnggrrryyyyy.”

Never mind that my four-year-old had polished off half an apple, peanut butter and a box of raisins less than an hour earlier. I handed her the other half of the apple, and her delighted smile was all the thanks I needed.

Working at Feeding America means I know how lucky I am that when my kids tell me they’re hungry, a snack and a smile are never out of reach. Does my daughter know how lucky she is? I don’t know, but I’m sure doing my best to raise compassionate kids. It isn’t easy! I’ve found a few tools to help – maybe they’ll help you too!

  • What does it feel like to be hungry?
  • What would you do if you couldn’t eat for a whole day?
  • What things might be harder to do while hungry?
Reading stories is a great way for children to understand the complex realities of other people’s lives. Maddi’s Fridge by Lois Brandt is one of my favorites to read aloud – check it out!
There is pretty much nothing more heartwarming than seeing my kids connect the dots – Some kids are hungry! I can help!– and then want to do something about it. Collecting food at school and donating it to a food bank have become favorite activities for my kids and every time we make a delivery, I see their eyes (and hearts) open just a little more.

So that’s us. How about you? How have you tried talking to your kids and family about hunger? This month we’ll be sharing all the different ways you and your family can help take on hunger, so if you want to learn more, there’s an action plan to download here that you should check out!

Elizabeth Nielsen
Senior Vice President
Feeding America