Children and foodIt is reported that one third of young adults don't know that eggs come from chickens. With this kind of disconnection and the prevalence of processed food, how can we expect the next generation to have a positive relationship with food? It is no wonder that in the UK, one in three children are affected by child obesity by the age of 11.
In order for our children to care about what they put in their mouths we need to engender an awareness and passion for where food comes from and how it is produced.
Hands on food experienceOur camps and clubs provide an opportunity for children to nurture, cook and prepare healthy, tasty food. Many of our day camps involve making their own delicious meals such as spring frittata with onion, potato and baby leek to hazelnut and chocolate raw balls to name a few.
How can we make a difference?At primary school, where a child's love of learning begins, food education needs to be the most inspiring lesson of the week. Ensuring our children develop a positive relationship with food through an interactive, holistic approach should be valued as highly as current core subjects for the impact it will have on their future lives. Thanks to campaigners, like Jamie Oliver, food education is back on the menu in schools but is it enough? Our Grow Make Eat Clubs encourage growing and nurturing food in schools. Find out how we can help
GrowWe know that children who plant and nurture their own fruits and vegetables are far more likely to eat them. When children become active participants in the planting and growing process they develop an appreciation for food and its place in the natural world.
By growing through the seasons we not only become fascinated by the rhythms of nature but also the processes of time and natural selection. When a crop fails, we learn from it and when it thrives we harvest it with a great sense of achievement and gratitude.
MakeChildren often offer up useful facts about nutrients and the importance of their five-a-day learnt in the classroom but so many children, of all backgrounds, can't recognise common vegetables. Without a first hand approach to food education how can we ever hope to truly engage our children? Smelling, tasting and playing with ingredients in their raw form, mixing and tasting dressings and pestos, blitzing, juicing, mashing and creating something that looks colourful and exciting is our approach. We love food and believe this is the way for our kids to fall in love with it too!
EatEating the right food provides our body with important nutrition but this needs to be a pleasurable experience. Food is about the moment, about togetherness, enjoyment and variety. Some of our greatest memories are bound by food, as well as some of our worst. Being forced to eat brussell sprouts or peas for example!
This kind of powerful emotional connection with food can create never ending battles at home. However, in a group environment, where children are spurred on by their peers to take 'food risks', barriers can be broken. From shared platters of sweetly roasted vegetables and interesting leaves to 'Teeny Weeney' crostini, it's all in the ownership. They made it. They're proud of it. They eat it!