Food Education in Schools: Rockin’ Out for Food Revolution Day 2013
|May 30, 2013||Posted by Stacy under Food education, Food Revolution|
As a volunteer ambassador for the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation (JOFF), I was very excited to take part in my first Food Revolution Day on May 17. Perhaps you remember Jamie Oliver from The Naked Chef cooking series or his reality TV show about transforming school food that aired a few years back. About a decade ago, he founded JOFF, an educational charity committed to keeping wholesome home cooking alive. Food Revolution Day is the foundation’s global day of action to raise awareness about the importance of good food and encourage people everywhere to share their culinary skills and knowledge.
Ambassadors were encouraged to get involved by planning a Food Revolution Day event. Plan an event?!? Initially, the thought of it gave me anxiety. What kind of event did I want to plan? Then, suddenly, it hit me: I wanted to do something special for kids at my twins’ preschool. After all, research shows that teaching kids how to cook and eat properly from an early age are more likely to have healthy eating habits later in life. So I organized a Fruits & Veggies class for 22 wees–including my own.
Offered by our local botanical garden as part of its new School Outreach program, the hour-long class, taught by Tammy Hood, was hands-on and interactive. The kids learned the difference between fruits and vegetables, chopped (and nibbled) carrots and celery with a kid-safe veggie chopper, and snacked on yogurt with honey and berries. They also “planted” snow pea seeds to take home.
Keeping a bunch of fidgety young kids engaged is no easy task, but Tammy kept them interested with songs and activities. And for those who think still think the children must have been bored, we have Food Revolution Day 2013: The Music Video to prove them wrong.
It’s time to get food education in our schools!!!
As I’ve witnessed with my own brood, kids are more likely to taste and enjoy new foods that they help grow, cook or prepare, or are connected to in some way. Seeing other children eat an unfamiliar food just may be the encouragement that a reluctant eater needs to give it a try. And since many kids aren’t being educated about food at home, the school setting can play a very important role in helping children learn to love the stuff that will love them back.
That’s why I’m super-excited about the new Get Food Education in Every School campaign! Co-sponsored by JOFF and Food Day, the initiative aims to make schools the place for children to learn about food, where it comes from and how it affects their bodies. If you like the idea of food education in ALL schools, I urge you to sign this petition to show your support.
Plus, a special announcement…
Last but not least, I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve accepted a position with Nurture, an Illinois-based non-profit that has been providing food education in our local schools. Back in 2008, Nurture began teaching cooking skills to limited-resource parents with the goal of helping them feed their families both healthfully and economically. It has since branched out to offer fun nutrition lessons in elementary schools.
I will be serving as regional director of operations for the Idaho chapter, which will involve everything from social media to program documentation to fundraising. I seriously couldn’t be more happy to be part of this incredible volunteer-based organization that is doing so much to educate kids and families about food. If you like the sounds of it or would like to know more, please go on over to Nurture’s Facebook page and give it a Like!