The Food Teacher™ launch their latest award for nurseries and schools for ages 3+ to support food education and improve long-term health.
The importance of understanding the link between what we eat and our health couldn’t be more relevant in the current climate and education is key to sharing this message. The Food Teacher™ team, headed by Katharine Tate, have been working with schools since 2014 and launched their first Young Chef award for 9 to 11 year olds in 2017. Fifteen Welwyn Hatfield Schools completed the last year, which culminated in a grand final event at Ridgeway Academy in February. Feedback from many schools highlighted the need for food and nutrition education to begin as early as possible to ensure that children develop chef skills, hygiene awareness, a basic understanding of nutrition and practical experience. With this in mind, the team launched a Younger Chef award last year for ages 6 to 7 and this year sees the launch of their Youngest award for ages 3+.
The award is a ‘Mini Muncher Challenge’ themed around the story of ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle. Children learn basic, age appropriate chef skills, food hygiene and safety, nutrition, the benefits of choosing healthy snacks and staying hydrated. Make at home recipes are also included to engage parents/carers. During each session, the children create a different snack e.g. a celery caterpillar or watermelon pizza slice. No heat is required throughout the challenge and only minimal equipment so it’s easy for nurseries and/or schools to deliver. Once signed up they receive access to the website, which contains everything required for delivery including lessons plans printable resources and teaching videos. They also receive copies of The Food Teacher’s two award-winning books, printed posters for the classroom and stickers and medals for the children.
Local celebrity chef, radio presenter and best-selling author Patti Sloley presents the teaching videos, which are engaging and fun. Patti states, “Introducing young children to nutritious food is a great way to get them started on a healthy life. Working with youngsters is totally inspiring and I hope this award will excite them to get making food!”
Fingertips Preschool, Forest school and Woodland Nursery in Harpenden have been involved in the development of the award and look forward to now teaching the material. Early Years Head Teacher Jenny Herbaut added, “I’m very excited about the up and coming award it’ll be enthralling seeing children engaged in nutrition and how they can eat healthily. In the long-term this will positively impact their development.”
Katharine Tate maintains, “Teaching children the importance of food for their health is essential and this award starts that process off at a very young age. The long-term impact of food and nutrition education on life long health should never be underestimated.”