New School Food Plan Launched In The U.K.Mon 15 Jul 2013
Story by The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation
Last Friday the U.K. School Food Plan was published. The main aims of this plan are to help increase the take-up of healthy school meals, and give children essential food education and cooking lessons.
The agreed plan, which builds on the campaigning that Jamie Oliver has been doing around school food in the U.K. since 2005, is all about good food; getting kids growing, cooking and eating proper food at school and improving their health and academic performance. You can see the full plan, from putting cooking into the curriculum to introducing food-based standards for all UK schools here.
"School food has come a long way since my original campaign, but more needs to be done to improve standards and teach kids about food. We can't underestimate the importance of investing in our children's health and productivity at school.
Getting cooking on the curriculum until the age of 14 and encouraging kids to eat school food are big steps, and we really need to get behind school cooks and head teachers to improve school food. I know how much energy and passion has gone into this plan. Now it has to deliver on its promises and make sure no schools are left behind - and that responsibility sits with this government." Jamie Oliver
Check out the full op-ed from Jamie here on why we all need to support school food, plus some great updates on what’s been happening since he started campaigning for better school food 8 years ago.
Teaching Kids to Cook Again
With this being the 3rd generation that doesn’t know how to cook and fewer than 40% of children in the U.K. being able to prepare five savoury dishes by the time they leave school, it couldn’t be more important that getting cooking and food education back in schools is included within the plan.
From the 2014 school year, food education will be on the curriculum in U.K. schools, with practical cookery being mandated up to the age of 14.
As stated in the plan, learning to cook is a crucial life skill that will enable students to feed themselves and others affordably and well, now and in later life.
Get Food Education in Every School
We believe that the U.S. should take similarly bold action and make food education and hands-on cooking programs a common reality in schools across the nation. This is why we launched the Get Food Education Campaign in Every School in partnership with Food Day.org back in May.
Currently there is no food education mandated nationwide in the US, and it is predicted that elementary aged pupils get less than 3.4 hours per year.
We all know the facts - obesity rates at an all time high, less than 20% of American kids get their 5 portions of fruit and veg each day and some kids don’t know a potato from a tomato.
Teaching children about real food, raising awareness over what is in the food marketed to them and what food labels mean, and equipping them with the skills to make wholesome, nutritious meals from scratch will empower them with the knowledge needed to lead healthier lives.
We believe that schools, along with families and communities, have the responsibility to include food and nutrition in children’s learning - alongside English, Math and Science. If you believe the same then sign up to support getting food education in U.S. schools here. Or if you know about a great food education program or hands-on cooking class in your school or district, email us here.
For more information on the Get Food Education in Every School campaign or to see success stories of programs already in action in the U.S., check out this Pinterest board.
Stay tuned for more updates on both the School Food Plan in the U.K. and the campaign to get food education within schools in the U.S.
The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation
Photo: Taken from The School Food Plan Video
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