Games, No Poverty, Zero Hunger

Discussing Malnutrition and Famine at a Table

The tale ‘Muddy Rice – No Hunger’ might be a good starting point for a discussion about malnutrition and hunger with children. All you need is a tasty dinner, 3 pots, and post-it notes saying: cobra, tiger, Tola and Urwis.

Rozmowa o głodzie


  • ‘Muddy Rice – No Hunger’ tale
  • Prepared dinner consisting of 3 independent food groups (rice, meat or tofu, and vegetables)
  • 3 pots with lids
  • 3 post-its stuck to the pots (cobra and little monkey; tiger, Tola and Urwis)
  • plates

How to Lead the Discussion

At the CultureLab Foundation we believe that no child – regardless of wealth, origin, gender, or race – should go hungry. On a quiet day, when you have the time to read the tale ‘Muddy Rice – No Hunger’ in peace, do have a short discussion about the tale with your child and then have the discussion again based on a meal you’ve actually prepared.

Discussing hunger with a child can be difficult. We’d like the children to appreciate how lucky they are to have sufficient, healthy food. Yet, we’d also like them to realise that many kids in Poland and in other parts of the world are undernourished. How can you lead a discussion so as to encourage children to share their meals and make them aware of how hard it has to be for a child who suffers from poverty and hunger?

Prepare dinner with rice being one of the ingredients. Place particular ingredients of the meal in sealable pots. Write on the pots:

  • meal for cobra and little monkey (on pot with rice)
  • meal for tiger (on pot with the basic product of the dish, e.g. meat / tofu, etc.)
  • meal for Tola and Rascal (pot containing vegetables.

After you’ve read the tale, call your child and other family members for dinner. Explain that you’re going to play characters from an Indian school today. Open the pot of cobra and little monkey and serve rice to everyone. Explain that today you’d like to find out what would happen if it was your family to run out of food. Would it be hard to get used to? Would you feel hungry if there was only bread and rice to eat? Would we stay healthy if we ate rice or bread only?

Your child might feel unhappy, angry, or sad for being given only rice. If this is the case, ask if they would like the tiger to share his meal with everyone. I’m sure you will hear ‘YES!’ in response.

Give helpings of food from the tiger’s pot, and then that of Tola and Urwis, to everyone. You can eat now and take your time to chat; discuss whether it would be nice to have a tiger to share his meal whenever a child doesn’t have sufficient food, and if by any chance there is someone in need of your help in the neighbourhood.

Have many inspiring discussions and enjoy your meal.