Over the last few years there have been many campaigns highlighting the issue of junk and processed foods. Jamie Oliver led a successful campaign to highlight the poor choice of food available in many school canteens and as a result nutritional guidelines were brought in to tackle the growing child obesity levels in the UK.
Healthy eating is high on the priory of the new curriculum;
As part of their work with food, pupils should be taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. Instilling a love of cooking in pupils will also open a door to one of the great expressions of human creativity. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill that enables pupils to feed themselves and others affordably and well, now and in later life.
There are many resources available onlineand here I want to share a few that I have done in my school. Chipotle created a powerful video showing how food is processed, this is a powerful talking point about practise of battery farming versus free range.
Tesco also run From Farm To Fork workshops across the country where children can visit Tesco stores and learn that fruit and vegetables are healthy foods and that they should aim to eat at least five portions a day. They also learn where sugar comes from, as well as how to read nutritional charts to avoid eating more sugar than the recommended allowance. The class get a chance to taste and find out about healthy snacks and even make fruit kebabs. The sessions are free and a great way to engage all the pupils.
Fooducate is a free app that allows you to scan the barcode of food items and it breaks down the nutritional content of it in an easy to understand interface. This was particularly great when the children were asked to investigate the amount of sugar food contained. We discussed the concept of hidden sugars and it opened their eyes to the fact that a lot of the food they thought healthy, were in fact anything but. We live in a fortunate time where there is a wealth of information about healthy eating, as educators we should ensure that the children are informed and can make their own choices wisely.