Blog: Teaching children about healthy eating

Day old chicks, Open Farm Sunday, Thorpe Farm, Eda

Lorna Hegenbarth_275_260

She writes:

If children are taught the provenance of food and where it comes from it will increase the chances of it becoming a cherished commodity. Surely less food would be thrown away or consumed in excess if we appreciated the complex work that went in to producing it. And then, we hope, food production would become a more widely appreciated issue in our day-to-day lives.

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Understanding how primary ingredients are used to make our favourite foods, as well as the provenance of those ingredients, will improve attitudes towards the food we eat.

That’s why the NFU threw its support behind Healthy Eating Week. It went with a bang with well over 7,000 schools got involved this year, up from just over 4,000 last year.

The NFU is a strong believer in the power of education and was pleased to be able to back this initiative.

This year we gave it a horticultural focus, with Anthony Snell manning the webinar, answering such probing questions from school children such as ‘why are raspberries hairy?’, and ‘what’s the biggest strawberry you have ever grown?’

The curriculum in school encourages these kinds of questions and conversation, and we hope that the new Food GCSE , due to be taught from 2016, also encourages the debate around growing food. The NFU is working away to help that happen.

The recently published Fresh Produce Producer report, highlighted from growers that education at school is important to get messages across. Pairing food provenance with information about the nutritional value of food is an educational recipe for success.

Against such a back drop, we are also looking forward to the end of the summer term, where the NFU is backing the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts. They are working to help London school children visit farms and cook produce straight from the fields. It is a virtuous circle.

Never has Open Farm Sunday, and the work that FACE do, been so important. If children learn how to cook a handful of savoury dishes from scratch, using local and seasonal products, then that’s good news for them and the future of British farming.