School is the perfect place to teach children about the importance of eating healthily and leading a healthy lifestyle. What better way to do that than by cooking healthy recipes in the classroom with your students? It’s not only an exciting and engaging lesson in the classroom, but also inspires them to cook healthy food for their family back home, empowering them as young active citizens.
But why encourage healthy eating and cooking in the classroom with kids?
The World Health Organization has identified obesity as one of the most serious global public health challenges of the 21st century. Though recent reports indicate that rising trends in child body mass index since 1975 have recently begun to plateau, levels of obesity in the UK are alarmingly high. In fact, they are the highest in the whole of Western Europe.
The figures speak for themselves: according to the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, almost one in every five children are overweight or obese when they start primary school, while as many as one in three are overweight by the time they start secondary school.
With child obesity figures so high, teaching the importance of a healthy diet is more important than ever.
What is Kitchen Kid?
Taken from my book, Literacy Beyond the Classroom, Kitchen Kid is a short and adaptable project using Adobe Spark video which explores the effects that obesity can have on children and how it is our responsibility to help educate about the importance of having a healthy diet. This sequence of 5 lessons teaches students about healthy eating with the aim of making a cooking video. Linking Literacy strongly to Science, DT & ICT, this project provides an enjoyable way to learn about nutrition whilst covering instruction and explanation writing.
All resources and full planning are free and available on Adobe EdEx:
Watch a completed student example of Kitchen Kid:
Interviews with Bee Wilson and Jason O’Rourke
Interviewed for Kitchen Kid are Bee Wilson, a food writer and historian, and Jason O’Rourke, headteacher of Washingborough Academy and an EdD student researching food education and school leadership.
Bee observes, “The sad thing in today’s world is that the main educator of a child’s palate is the food industry, which has encouraged a generation of children to gravitate towards foods that are sweet, fatty, salty and ultra-processed. We need to redress the balance and make a child see the joys in other flavours and textures, from the bitterness of grapefruit to the hard crunch of a carrot.”
Jason remarks, “You want children to learn through experience and food is one of those very rare areas that everyone has experience with – good and bad. We all hopefully eat three times a day at least, so to be creative in this area and encourage other areas of learning around food is a great way to engage children.”
Being creative with cooking in school is a great way to encourage healthy eating habits.
Here’s that resource link again:
If you enjoyed Kitchen Kid, check out Literacy Beyond the Classroom, improves English progress at Key Stage 2 by 3.75 times the UK national average. This innovative approach links global challenges to the five key National Curriculum areas in English: reports, instructions, persuasive language, fiction and poetry, and presentation skills, presenting ready-to-use lesson plans, exercises and activities to help teachers bring this concept to life in the primary classroom.
All projects can be completed using Adobe Spark. By teaching English in this practical, purposeful and meaningful way, we can inspire the YouTube generation to learn the literacy skills they need to influence the world around them and have a positive impact as global citizens.
Dominic is the Education Evangelist EMEA for Adobe Education. Before joining Adobe, Dominic found his passion for combining literacy with digital skills as a primary teacher both in the UK and internationally. From there, he was part of the first cohort on Emerge Education and used that as a springboard to start an education social enterprise. In 2018, he won the EDUCATE award from the Institute Of Education for a 4 month research project into improving KS2 writing using digital skills at 3.75 times the national average rate of progress.