Learning to love our veggies in National Nutrition Week

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Here at the Kitchen Garden Foundation we love our veggies! This month’s National Nutrition Week is the perfect opportunity to celebrate all kinds of veggies and explore the role they play in our health and wellbeing through a kitchen garden program.

The annual National Nutrition Week campaign, organised by Nutrition Australia, aims to raise awareness on the role of food in health, and supports the community to enjoy healthy eating. This year the theme is Try for 5, aiming to increase our engagement with our favourite fresh crops.

At the Foundation, our years of experience delivering pleasurable food education have shown us that students who grow, harvest, prepare and share their food are more inclined to try seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs that are new to them.

We then connect this love of fresh, delicious food to learning objectives, making simple, easy links to food and nutrition education in your curriculum.

In the Australian Curriculum, nutrition is a pertinent topic. There is a food and nutrition focus area in health and physical education (HPE). This focus area is interwoven through the strands and sub-strands, and can meet the teaching and learning requirements of content descriptions in the HPE learning area.

Learning about nutrition is also supported by the food specialisation and food and fibre contexts in the technologies learning area.

Here are some suggestions on how you can link to learning across Years F–10 to the food and nutrition focus area.

Primary years

In the Foundation year, plant some veggies with students so they have the opportunity to participate in play that promotes engagement with outdoor settings and the natural environment (ACPPS007). Consider focusing on certain vegetables or create a garden space just for preps.

In Years 1 and 2, have your students examine health messages and how they relate to health decisions and behaviours (ACPPS021) when focusing on the theme of Try for 5 during Nutrition Week. What does this mean to them? How can they achieve this? Explore opportunities for students to try new vegetables, such as bringing in a box of seasonal produce, or setting a target for everyone to try five new vegetables over the course of the week.

For students in Years 3 and 4 to identify and practise strategies to promote health, safety and wellbeing (ACPPS036), have them think about what they eat, and discuss why they eat what they do. Create a yummy, nutritious snack for recess, such as a savoury muffin or scone filled with seasonal vegetables.

Students in Years 5 and 6 can plan and practise strategies to promote health, safety and wellbeing (ACPPS054) by creating visual displays that show and promote a variety of seasonal vegetables in a meal. Students draw their chosen dish, showing which vegetables are used, and why.

Secondary years

In Years 7 and 8, students can plan and use health practices, behaviours and resources to enhance health, safety and wellbeing of their communities (ACPPS077) through investigating the food serving recommendations found in the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. They design a meal, such as an omelette or pasta dish, to meet serving suggestions. Use fresh, seasonal vegetables as the star of the dish.

Year 9 and 10 students in a kitchen garden program have the opportunity to plan and evaluate new and creative interventions that promote their own and others’ connection to community and natural and built environments (ACPPS097) through collaborating with community groups. A glut of crops? Why not enable students to liaise with and donate excess to a local food relief centre. Alternatively, organise a fundraiser (a kitchen garden program ‘restaurant’ or market stall) to raise funds for a good cause.

Happy teaching!

Steph Davies, Education Advisor


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