Food Education in the U.S. Food skills are one of the most valuable life skills you can ever learn and every child should learn about food, where it comes from and how it affects his or her body. This map highlights some food and nutrition education activities taking place in schools across the United States, from mandatory nutrition education to hands-on programs where kids can touch, feel, taste, and cook food. We know there are loads more programs in action, and we want to hear about them! Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know about your food education program, class, or activity!
About the Campaign
Get Food Education in Every School is a national initiative created by Food Day and the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation to raise awareness about the critical importance of food education in schools across America.
It provides a chance to start talking about how food education should be an integrated part of the school curriculum, and that hands-on cooking and essential food skills should be taught to every child, at every school in the country.
If every child had the opportunity to learn about, grow and cook food and understand the implications of food waste on the wider community, we believe they’d have the knowledge and tools to lead healthier and more fulfilling lives. Studies show that:
- The more children learn about food and nutrition, the more likely they are to eat fruit and vegetables.
- The more children cook and prepare fresh food from scratch, the more likely they are to appreciate healthier and more varied ingredients.
- The more children plant and harvest fruit and vegetables, the more motivated they’ll be to eat them also.
Providing our children with food education has never been more vitally important as it is today. One-third of children in the United States are overweight or obese and total healthcare costs attributable to obesity could reach up to $957 billion by 2030. At the same time, 17 million children in the US remain hungry. What is more, as a result of obesity-related disease, this generation of children are predicted to be the first to die at a younger age than their parents.
What can we do to reverse these trends?
Schools, together with local communities and families, need to be at the heart of food education, to teach children about food, where it comes from and how it affects our bodies and therefore, to put the tools of prevention in the hands of children themselves.
Schools not only play an important role in helping to shape the next generation, they’re responsible for teaching essential skills and knowledge, such as reading, writing, computer literacy and mathematics. Cooking skills and food knowledge, however, are clearly not prioritized like these subjects, or even considered to be essential skills. Our campaign aims to reverse this trend.
We invite you and your organization to join us in the essential mission of reversing this trend and creating a food literate society – sign on to support and share your belief that food education should be available for every child, in every school in America.
Get Food Education in Every School started as an initiative to raise awareness about the importance of food education. Together we will build a broad base of support and decide on next steps to advance the issue in our nation's schools.
The Tree of Life Sanctuary
Kate Adamick, Co-Founder, Cook for America
Isobel R. Contento, PhD, Teachers College Columbia University
Chef Ann Cooper, Director, Food Services Boulder Valley School District
Diane Hatz, Founder & Executive Director, Change Food; Organizer/Curator, TEDxManhattan
Pamela Koch, EdD, RD, Teachers College Columbia University
Robyn O'Brien, founder, AllergyKids
Bettina Elias Siegel, writer of The Lunch Tray
Walter Willett, MD, DrPH, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health
Promising practices in food education around the country range from interdisciplinary classroom and garden education to cooking classes. If you’re looking for a way to make a difference in the way your students eat and think about food, here are some resources to get you started.