Our Love Local in Schools pilot project has successfully completed the school year, delivering lessons on local food and healthy eating to over 600 pupils in Peterborough!
The project delivered lessons in Key Stage 2 classrooms in schools around Peterborough, focusing on three main themes: Seasonal & Local Food; Cooking with Children; and Making Healthy Choices.
The goal of Love Local in Schools was to change eating habits and promote the enjoyment and benefits of healthy food to children who face a world of increasingly confusing food choices. We delivered a variety of fun, hands-on cookery sessions and food workshops to teach children about where our food comes from, with an emphasis on introducing them to new fruits and vegetables so that children could experience new flavours and learn about these foods within the context of seasonality. We talked a lot about our modern food choices, learning how to read labels and make healthier choices, whilst learning about the importance of healthy diet.
From the beginning of the project, we worked with the local Woodlands Organic Farm box scheme to allow children to get a good sampling of seasonal vegetables and fruit primarily grown in the UK. This gave pupils a unique view of what our local farms can produce throughout the year. Fresh vegetables were on offer for most of the lessons, and many children tried something they had never tried before. A surprising number of pupils were especially keen on beetroot and radish!
Children were so enthusiastic throughout – they especially loved the cookery sessions, when they got a chance to make and taste simple recipes using the seasonal food available. The kids each had their own individual cookbooks they made during the project and many eager children tried making the recipes at home, even bringing in samples to share with their teachers!
Making connections at home
The project provided outreach to parents and carers in the form of picnics and fun school events where families could participate. Several schools held parent picnics, where the children got a chance to demonstrate some of their new skills by making fresh salads and fruit kebabs to share. We also linked up with our communities project to host a number of school gardening sessions, where children and parents could learn some of the basics of growing food at home. We also linked parents to information about our free community cookery and gardening workshops available to families throughout the summer.
While the Love Local in Schools programme for the current school year has come to an end, we are seeking to continue the project at least in to the 2014/2015 school year to assist schools in carrying forward the healthy food and cooking objectives in the new 2014 National Curriculum.
If you are a part of a local school and are interested in being involved with the project in the future, please contact April to register your interest on 01733 866 440 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are an organisation looking to offer support to our healthy food education project, including cookery, gardening in schools and much more, please contact Kari-Ann for further information email@example.comEnvironment Education Project Support Officer.
01733 866 440
firstname.lastname@example.org, April Sotomayor
Environment Education Project Support Officer
01733 866 440