Homeschool & Real Life Skills: Refrigerator Rescue – Food Storage

06 Sep


This morning I opened the refrigerator looking for something and I couldn’t find that something.

What a state the refrigerator was in! (not like that’s unusual):

  • The refrigerator was filled to the max

  • Food was just thrown around on top of other food

  • Food was left uncovered.


Time for a Refrigerator Rescue! Lesson

Exit: Ticked off Mom,

Enter: Homeschool Mom (there’s a lesson to be found in everything)


So the wheels got a turning and a real life lesson was in order. Time for a  timely lesson on food storage!

But of course, I couldn’t speak off the top of my head, oh no. I needed material, worksheets, lessons, charts, diagrams….sound familiar?

So I headed to my pal (and nemesis, all in one), the internet. Alhamdulillah, I quickly found resources right at my finger tips.  Well, I didn’t have time to pour over the information and neatly package it and yada yada yada (which I have the tendency to do).  So, I resolved to just take what I had and ad lib (you don’t want to spoil the moment. A lesson on proper food storage is needed NOW, so you give it NOW!)  However, most of the kids were still in bed (its Ramadan and they had had suhoor so I graciously let them go back to bed so I could enjoy some quality “me” time). But I’m ticked off, so I had to rustle them up. It had to be NOW, it just had to be.

A few minutes later they are all assembled into the dining room and I’ve got my printouts and we just dig in.  I just read. And ask questions, and read some more.  I ask open ended questions, I answer the kids questions.,…and no worksheets.  Oh wait, one of the best openers I used for this little exercise.  Before we sat down and read and talked and answered, I pulled them all into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator door (blind siding them) and asked, what foods in here are probably  not stored correctly.  Everyone went through and identified something that wasn’t covered correctly and we set everything that wasn’t out on the counter). Then we went to the table for our reading and talking………………………

I found some really neat materials, which I’ll share in just a  moment, insha Allah. Of course, I would have liked the opportunity to draw up something super academic, THE lesson to end ALL lessons, but maybe it’s better that way………………… We had a spontaneous lecture and a hands on lab. And as I read and we talked, I kept going back and asking them questions about what we had just learned…..)

So to end our lesson, we went back into the kitchen, looked at our poorly stored food we took out and talked about how we could store them correctly and then we went about fixing the situation. Then it mushroomed into let’s just clean the fridge out (ok, that was my idea). We designated places for everything…we made a shelf just for leftovers, we put the eggs on the bottom shelf in case they broke and we wouldn’t have a big mess to fall down to the next shelf underneath.

I think this was a great hands on activity, which of course, we will have to repeat many, many times, before it sinks in and becomes habit. It was also a great review for me, because I wasn’t so innocent (as I noticed something I had just thrown in there yesterday).


When its timely for you, or you want to attack it before its timely to do this particular type of lesson, here’s what I found:


Proper Food Storage Learning Resources

  1. Here’s where we started: – Cooling, Heating, and Food Storage Fact Sheet; I just read the food storage section.
  2. Then we moseyed on over to this set of lessons that includes experiments and a quiz: I read a little from here off the teacher information sheet.
  3. I didn’t even get to this, but this is a keeper, “Safe Home Food Storage.” It has food storage tips, and a Food Storage Timetable. So we’ll just pop that baby into our household binder for reference, insha Allah and/or use it next go around, bi ithnillah. You can even assign it for reading for the big’uns.
  4. We also didn’t get around to using this one (you know you can’t overload them), but this one is a MUST. It is so neat.     It’s  not just food storage but also life skills in general: budgeting, housecleaning and keeping, food safety, finding a place to live. The activities in here look so FUN and really beneficial.  It’s called “I’m Getting Ready!” (as in ready to move out on my own). I’m telling ya, don’t miss that one.
  5. And then, lastly, one of my favs, a four module life skills workbook/activity book.  Wasn’t a food section on food safety per say, but I’ll throw it in because these are super helpful in general for life skills instruction/learning.

·  Module 1: Money, Home, and Food Management

·  Module 2: Personal Care, Health, Social Skills, and Safety

·  Module 3: Education, Job Seeking Skills, and Job Maintenance Skills

·  Module 4: Housing, Transportation, Community Resources, Understanding the Law, and Recreation

·  Module 5: Young Parents Guide


Across the Curriculum

To end off, I can see that many subjects are covered in this little non planned lesson…

Let’s see, there’s:

Math: obviously, how LONG can food be stored, refrigerator temperature and then there’s

Science: bacteria and mold, science experiments

Language Arts: reading, listening, quiz

Arabic: if you introduce Arabic terms for things such as refrigerator, different foods

Islamic Studies: Allah does not like wastefulness, if we don’t store food properly it will waste; thinking about what we waste and that it could have fed someone who was hungry

And that’s a wrap. Insha Allah, I’ve given supplied  some “food for thought” and  helpful tips for turning real life moments into teachable moments……………………………..

1 Comment

Posted by on September 6, 2009 in Uncategorized


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One response to “Homeschool & Real Life Skills: Refrigerator Rescue – Food Storage

  1. Brad

    October 3, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Under cool, dry, dark conditions most food will keep well for 18 months to 2 years. Wheat and sugar will keep well for 25 years. Foods which have been canned correctly and stored correctly will be safe for much longer periods of time. However, as food ages there will naturally be changes in color, flavor, odor, and texture. Color will darken, texture will soften, and odor will change. Although the food may be safe it might not be palatable. If any of the following apply throw the food out:

    · Food was processed improperly (untested canning recipe, no altitude changes, etc.) The jar may be sealed, but deadly microorganisms are sealed in the jar.
    · Bulging cans
    · Milky appearance to liquid. As food ages the liquid will become cloudier as food sloughs off, but it should not be milky.
    · Mold growth
    · Slimy appearance or texture
    · Rancid odor
    · Corrosion on inside of can, especially along seam
    · Rust, especially on seam or seal of can
    · Frozen canned goods – this can cause hairline fractures in the seal and seams. If accidentally frozen, keep frozen until ready to use.
    · Off-smell

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