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Info for Parents
Do your children understand the nutritional benefits of eating fresh produce and how to cook it?
Why is it so important to engage kids in British Food Fortnight?
- EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION!!
At a national level, we have much to improve upon:
- The level of food education in this country leaves much to be desired. Although it exists in both primary and secondary schooling, the stress is more on theoretical aspects than on practical skill.
- If we don''t educate our children about the nutritional benefits of eating fresh produce and how to cook it, how can we hope to generate the consumer demand necessary to support our farming industry and local producers in the future? Not least, we run the risk of becoming a nation of people who only buy ready-made meals and fast food, and who shy away from buying fresh meat & vegetables because we don''t know how to cook them and have little understanding of a balanced diet.
- Practical food skills must be intrinsic to kids'' education - to promote ethical guidance in schools regarding the promotion of food and drink.
What''s already happening?
- The Dept for Education & Skills has teamed up with the Farming & Countryside Education organisation (FACE) and the Countryside Alliance to produce a poster encouraging schools to take part in the fortnight. The poster addresses one of the main problems FACE have identified - that though a lot of food & farming educational material exists, teachers do not know what is available. Designed to go on staff room notice boards, the poster will be advertised on TeacherNet, in Spectrum and will be used as an insert in the Growing Schools packs.
Just for Kids
Here are a few ideas to get the kids involved…
- A ''bring and share buffet'' Harvest Festival supper for families. Each family to bring food, which should be locally grown/sourced where possible. Entertainment could be a concert by local musicians, a talent show or a barn dance.
- Produce and sell a children''s cookbook with each child contributing a favourite recipe using local produce. Get a chef from a local restaurant to do a cookery demonstration of some of the recipes, stressing the importance of using good, local produce. Ask local small shops to provide the ingredients in return for publicity in the cookbook.
- A quiz event with a food theme. Rounds could include tasting and naming British cheeses and/or herbs, music with British food in the title/lyrics, breeds of traditional farm animals, name the local suppliers marked on a map etc. Supper could be a ploughman''s of locally baked bread and ham or British cheeses followed by a long forgotten apple variety.
- Halloween fancy dress disco and buffet with a prize for the best carved-out pumpkin.
- Bonfire party with local ''bangers''
- A ''Host a Roast'' party with all food being sourced locally, possibly charging invitees a nominal sum towards general funds or a local charity
- A ''Progressive Supper'' using local food. Each of the 4 courses being eaten at a different child''s house, ending up with a party at the cheese and biscuit house. There can be several chains all ending up together, if the cheese and biscuit hosts deliver to one house beforehand. For a fundraising twist, ask each participant to pay £x to general funds or a local charity.
- A visit to local food or drink producers with tasting sessions
- A fun ''Breakfast in Bed'' party. This also stresses the need for children to have a good breakfast in the mornings before school.
- A children''s vegetable patch so they understand how food goes from ''Fork to Fork''
- Encourage parents to fill children''s lunch boxes with local produce