Healthy Eating

Growing food - and a pot plant called 'Dylan'.

 

Here are some of the children's and families' reponses to this intervention;

“The cress I took home we mixed with egg to make sandwiches. " "I loved the apple crumble we made with your cooking apples," said child aged 3. “It was yummy!”

“Can my take it home?” asked child, aged 2, as he pushed a seedling into an egg shell. “My can plant it with Mummy in garden.”

“We don’t have a garden at home, so it’s great that he can do gardening activities with you, and learn where food originates.” Parent

Home cooking

The children who borrowed cookery bags shared their experiences of cooking at nursery when they cooked at home - and then shared their home cooking experiences with the group. 

 These children were also more likely to act out cooking (including initiating measuring) and to use related vocabulary when involved in role play.

On top of this, 100% of parents who took part said that they would be more likely to involve their children in food preparation in the future.

 

"Carrots like Mummy buys at the shop!"

With careful planning, they achieved their aim and the project was so successful that they are already planning what to grow next year - and how to involve families too.

An unexpected and challenging aspect of learning was self-regulation, as the children, "learnt not to pick the vegetables before they were ready which was a huge achievement." [Staff]

The children were very proud of their achievement: "I liked pulling up the garlic. It was very strong!"        "I growed the carrots like Mummy buys at the shop!"

Powerful planting

 "This has given the children an understanding of where food comes from.  This has been a very powerful piece of learning.  Parents were very impressed the children were eating stir-fry using vegetables that they had helped to grow."  [Staff]

 "It's lovely to see pictures in the learning diaries of the children outside and gardening as we don't have a garden at home." [Parent}

 

 

Balancing packed lunches

By the end of the 6 week programme there was a significant decrease in the number of items with high levels of added sugar and/or fat in lunch boxes. Staff also observed that children were less excitable after lunch and listening skills at circle time had improved.

Grand designs

"The preschool garden has truly blossomed, and the children have taken pride in their amazing achievements. . . Parents have enjoyed these activities at home as well, promoting this lifestyle."  Pre-school leader

Improving the quality of packed lunches at St John's MSN

Following a series of actions around packed lunches - which included the development of a new packed lunch policy, cooking sessions and training for staff, the school measured a 10% decrease in the number of confectionary items brought into school for lunch.

Year 6 children actively participated in the project and supported the younger children in the school to educate them about healthier and balanced diets.

Food, glorious food!

 Quote from Practitioner: "The cooking activities give our children a fantastic opportunity to cover all 7 areas of learning. Its great the children get to do all the activities from start to finish e.g. when we did baked potatoes they all had to scrub their own potatoes and then prick them with a fork before they went in the oven. I can’t imagine many 3 year olds get to do that at home".

 

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