Parents, teachers and caregivers are always looking for creative ways to get kids to eat their fruits and veggies. And with good reason – studies show that healthy kids do better in school.
During our after-school meal times, we’re always encouraging kids to try new foods and flavors, but getting kids to eat healthy goes beyond serving up a plate of food. Our volunteers are forming relationships around the dinner table that help encourage healthy habits each week. In fact, here are a few excellent suggestions for parents (and for our own Patachou Foundation volunteers) that align with The Patachou Foundation’s philosophy.
But we want to do more. That’s why The Patachou Foundation developed the Food Exploration Club, a 10-week, hands-on curriculum based on the following Four Food Foundations that get kids interested and excited about growing food, cooking, and trying new flavors:
1. Food is Fun
Preparing food and eating it is more than a mindless activity, it’s meant for enjoyment. We teach kids kitchen safety, basic knife skills, and recipes they can make at home. But most of all, we want all kids to know that eating real food can be exciting!
2. Food is from the Earth
Connecting to where our food comes from and who grows it is important. It’s easy to forget that groceries don’t magically appear on the shelves.
3. Food is Fuel
We need carbohydrates for energy and protein to build muscle – and everything we put in our bodies has value. A belly full of wholesome food can help kids play, learn and grow even better.
4. Food is for Sharing
Gathering around the table with family and friends to talk about our days, unwind, and create special memories is one of the most important parts of our meals. Life skills are built at the table and we want every child to know that food is a social experience.
When thinking about instilling excellent eating habits in our kids, we know that change doesn’t happen overnight. Through building relationships and a lot of repeated exposure, these principles will create a healthy future for all of our young neighbors.
This fall, The Patachou Foundation started the Food Exploration Club based on these foundations at four Indianapolis schools. By the spring semester of 2018, The Patachou Foundation will host Food Exploration Clubs in every school we serve.