Food Education

2012_FoodDay_Bronx_26.jpgFood manufacturers and fast-food chains spend billions convincing kids to want junk food, placing ads on Nickelodeon, and even reaching kids through apps and online games. Partly as a result, one in three children is overweight or obese, and kids are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at younger and younger ages.

We believe that all children should understand the story of their food: where it comes from, how it was produced, and what it means for personal and public health. Equipping children with food and nutrition education—in the kitchen and in the classroom— will empower them with lifelong skills. Research on food education has proven that:

  • -Knowledge about food and nutrition increases children’s fruit and vegetable consumption.
  • -Cooking and preparing fresh foods enhances children’s appreciation for healthier and diverse foods.
  • -Planting and harvesting fruits and vegetables motivates children to also eat them.

Learn more about Get Food Education in Every Schoola 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.

If you’re looking for a way to make a difference in the way your students eat and think about food, here are some curricular resources that will get you started. There are a lot of lesson ideas out there related to food issues, but these are some of Food Day’s favorites!

New Food Education Report: Getting food education – cooking, gardening and academic skills – into every school will require collaboration from many groups and individuals, as well as an approach based on research. This report describes the state of food education in America to provide a baseline and recommend what more could be done. 

Food Day School Curriculum: This curriculum of 5 lesson plans developed by professors at Teachers’ College of Columbia University is a great way to introduce concepts such as the difference between whole and processed foods or navigating one’s personal food environment.

Nourish: Food + Community: A multi-media education initiative designed to open a meaningful conversation about food and sustainability. Includes a 6-lesson curriculum, action projects, learning activities, and a companion DVD.

Jamie Oliver’s Learn Your Fruits and Vegetables program: Use this free sample pack to get students excited about fruits and vegetables—eating them, learning about them and understanding why they’re so good for you.

Planet Health: This curriculum for middle school students is interdisciplinary and contains 33 lessons across different subject areas, plus an introductory lesson and physical education suggestions.

Farmers MarKIDS: Using Recipe for Success's free, kid-tested farmers marKIDS toolkit's five lesson plans, facilitators can help children develop financial savvy, entrepreneurial skills and business experience while they make fresh produce easily accessible to their neighbors.

Do you have a favorite food curriculum or lesson? Send it to us at or post it on!

For more food education resources, check out our Guide for School Organizers.

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  • followed this page 2016-08-02 15:28:51 -0400
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  • followed this page 2015-12-09 16:44:47 -0500
  • commented 2015-09-15 06:45:05 -0400
    It is a fact that overweight and obesity is increasing at an alarming rate among children due to unhealthy food habits. It is the responsibility of parents and schools to make children aware and educate them about healthy food, nutrition, fruits, and vegetable. In this respect, a national initiative created by Food Day and the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation for every school can go a long way in making students aware of the food they are eating.
  • commented 2015-08-10 19:01:31 -0400
    It is important to adopt healthy eating habits now in your life. By substituting good habits
    for bad ones, you can be on track to a healthier life. Start small. It is easier to cut out a few things
    from your diet little by little. Keep all of the effects of junk food in mind before eating anything.
    Ask yourself if you really want to put these things into your body? Having a healthy diet will
    increase energy levels and you will be more alert throughout the day. Also try not to skip meals,
    especially breakfast, and drink plenty of water.
  • commented 2014-09-28 20:43:09 -0400
    G’day mate! I’m a fun-loving character who teaches 0-8 year old children about farming and food + fibre production in a fun way through stories and games. Find out more and feel free to follow my adventures! | | |
  • commented 2014-09-14 01:25:07 -0400
    I believe if every child was taught exactly what’s really in fast-foods it would disgust them, perhaps every school should implement a program to better educate our kids.
  • commented 2014-09-14 01:24:06 -0400
    I believe if every child was taught exactly what’s really in fast-foods it would disgust them, perhaps every school should implement a program to better educate our kids.

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  • commented 2014-06-12 21:41:03 -0400
    Check out Yummy Tummy Rainbow Garden, nutritional storybook for children of all ages. What are your Copy now
    Autographed copies available!
  • commented 2014-03-26 11:57:23 -0400
    Such a great resource for Food Day ideas!
  • commented 2013-08-26 14:10:12 -0400
    The Cook Book Project has fantastic curriculum directed at having immigrant children and children in developing countries maintain/celebrate their food culture rather than (through excessive advertising) drift toward a SAD – Standard American Diet of fast food.
  • published this page in Focus Areas 2013-05-16 09:26:02 -0400
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