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Activities for the Keiki

“My longterm hope for EAT PONO’s legacy is that it provides engaging, educational opportunities for our keiki to learn how to live and farm sustainably; and to be empowered to make healthy choices not only for themselves, but also for our planet."
~ Candes Gentry, Author, EAT PONO



‘Āina Guardians are keiki that are curious in the kitchen, resourceful in their sustainable gardens, students of their kūpuna, guardians of the ‘āina and helpful in their community.

As an EAT PONO ‘Āina Guardian, together with Poet Gentry, I pledge to:

  • use a reusable water bottle

  • recycle plastics that I use

  • throw my garbage in the trash and never litter

  • plant a garden  

  • practice kindness in my community

  • learn about culture and traditions from my kūpuna

  • be curious and try new foods

  • say “no thanks” to sugary drinks

  • And get outside and play (exercise) everyday

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Composting is nature’s way of recycling. Although it may seem “icky” it is actually really cool to be able to recycle food scraps into nutritious dirt so that we can rejuvenate our soils and feed our fruits and vegetables so that they can in turn feed us. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty with this activity. Getting your hands dirty in the garden can increase your serotonin levels which make you happy and strengthen your immune system. We invite you to get outdoors and play in the dirt!

Materials Needed: 

Safety Tip: (Please ask an adult for help and supervision when using sharp objects)

  1. (1) empty large plastic bottle 

  2. Scissors

  3. Nail for making small drainage holes

  4. Shredded newspaper

  5. Dirt (not potting soil, good ‘ole dirt from the outside)

  6. Compost materials (grass clippings, vegetable scraps, dry leaves)

  7. Water 

  8. Worms you dig up in the garden outside (optional, but very helpful)

Easy Prep:

  1. Rescue an empty large plastic bottle from the recycle bin

  2. Cut off the top of the bottle, approximately 1-2” below the neck and set it aside.

  3. Use a nail or sharp object to punch 8-10 small air and drainage holes along the side and bottom of the bottle. 

  4. Fill the bottom of the bottle with dirt, worms (optional), newspaper, grass clippings, and dry leaves. This is your compost starter. 

  5. Sprinkle water to wet the compost starter. 

Ready, Set, Compost!

  1. Congrats kids! You’re ready to start composting your kitchen food scraps. You can try vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, eggshells or more leaves and grass, but remember no dairy or meat.

  1. Turn the bottle top upside down and place it in the open top of the bottle. The top will act like a funnel for adding water daily and help keep the critters out. 

  2. Place in a sunlight area and cover with kitchen towel when not in use.

  3. Check the composter each day and watch the magic happen. Stir the contents occasionally and keep damp. Over time you will see the materials break down and turn into nutritious soil that you can use in your garden.

  4. Bonus: Use your soil to grow your very own plant or start your own garden.

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Fresh Feta Salad


Eat Pono Food Story Activity

Food is a universal language. Much like music and love, food connects us with one another and allows us to develop bonds between friends, family and loved ones. We can learn so much about a culture, a family and even ourselves by sharing our food preferences, our local farming and harvesting practices as well as our beloved recipes and traditions. 

Growing, preparing, and eating together provides the foundation to share cultural traditions, deepen relationships, and nourish each other. Starting at a young age, it is important to support our children in order for them to develop a healthy relationship with food. Modeling healthy food habits that encourage curiosity, broadening our palate, and the inquiry of where our food comes from and how it is prepared and disposed of is essential. 

This Eat Pono activity will helps kids connect with their food story or that of someone they love.


Begin by choosing someone to interview. A friend, kupuna, or aunty or uncle. If you have a family member that lives in another country, set up a time to interview them over zoom, you’ll be surprised at how much you learn. This activity is meant as a cultural and generational exchange so you will be answering the questions alongside your interviewee. Then begin your interview by both answering the following questions:

My name is (name). I am (age) years old. Today is (date), and I’m speaking with (partner’s name), who is my (relationship). I am recording this interview in (place, city, state; e.g., “my home in Honolulu, Hawaii”).


Step 1: Find an adult to interview.

Step 2: Set a time and a quiet place to conduct the interview.

Step 3: Conduct your interview using the following questions as a guide, feel free to make up your own questions.

Step 4: Write down your answers and prepare your recipe card.

Step 5: Reflect. Share your findings with your family. What did you learn? How did the stories make you feel? 

Step 6: Make the recipe and share it with your family to keep your traditions alive!

Interview Question Suggestions:

  1. Can you tell me about some of your favorite foods? 

  2. When you were growing up, what kind of food did you like? Did you have a favorite meal?  How have your food habits changed as an adult?

  3. Were you raised eating dinner together as a family? 

  4. How did you learn to cook? Who taught you? 

  5. What is the best meal you have ever eaten? What was it? Where was it? Who was there?  What made it the best?

  6. Are there any foods you used to dislike, but now enjoy eating?  When did your tastes change?

  7. Do you have an herb garden or raised bed garden at home? Do you, or have you ever grown your own fruits and vegetables? If so, which ones? 

  8. Does anyone in your family fish, hunt, or gather foods that you eat? 

  9. Do you know how to cook or bake?

  10. Who is the best cook in your family? Can you recall a special recipe that they make?

  11. Do you know of a food tradition that is important in your culture or your community?

  12. What is your favorite food memory with someone you love?

  13. Who does the food shopping in your house and where are all the places your family shops? Grocery store, farmer’s market, CSA?

  14. What culture does your family most identify with? (ie., Japanese, Chinese, Hispanic, Indian). How has that cultural connection influenced the foods you eat?

  15. Can you please share a family recipe? I would like to prepare a recipe card to preserve our family legacy.

Create a recipe card to preserve a family recipe: 

Guidelines for the Recipe Card:


From the Kitchen of:

Prep time:

Cook time:

Number of servings:



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