Last week our homeschool group had a composting workshop with the Lower East Side Ecology Center. The kids learned all about worm bins and composting. They got to observe worms, and then make their own worm bin and bedding (wet shredded up newspaper).
Worms eat organic matter -- things that used to be alive that would otherwise go in the trash. Vegetable peels, fruit leftovers like apple cores and banana peels, coffee grounds, tea bags, egg shells, etc. But you shouldn't compost animal products like meat, dairy (or even their soy or rice equivalents) or very oil foods. They draw vermin and can really smell bad. Worms are not vegetarians. They are omnivores. They eat food scraps and poop out compost. The worms we are using for composting are "decomposers" called Red Wriggler worms. Their lifespan is about 1 year. Worms are slimy and secrete mucus. When handling them, you should wet your hands so they don't dry out.