Food Education in Schools - Updates

Food Education In Schools - Updates

Tue 30 Jul 2013

Story by The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation Team

Getting Food Education in Every School – Growing Support

Since launching back in May, the Get Food Education in Every School has had growing support. Now over 60 organisations and thought leaders have signed up to support the effort, and over 4,900 individuals have signed on through our action alert.

If you have not signed up to support yet, do so today HERE! Learning about real food, nutrition and how to cook are all essential life skills that will allow students to make healthy choices and feed themselves and others affordable and well.

“Every kid in every school no matter their background, deserves to learn the basics about food – where it comes from, how to cook it and how it affects their bodies. These life skills are as important as reading and writing, but they’ve been lost over the past few generations. We need to bring them back and bring up our kids to be streetwise about food.” - Jamie Oliver

Food Education Programs Already in Place

While food education is not mandated in all schools across the US, there are some great programs already in place, teaching kids, parents and teachers about real food, how what we eat impacts our bodies, raising awareness over what is in the food we eat and teaching hands-on cooking programs.

Here’s a selection of just some of our favorites:

• Mississippi Healthy Students Act
Passed in 2007, the Mississippi Healthy Students Act mandates that schools statewide provide a minimum of 45 minutes of health education, including nutrition and physical activity, per week.

• Wellness in the Schools – Cook for Kids
New York based Wellness in the Schools (WITS), invests in training culinary graduations who work as partners with cafeteria staff preparing daily scratch-cooked meals and educating families about the importance of healthy eating. WITS cooks also teach children and their families how to cook healthy, delicious, and affordable recipes featuring whole, unprocessed foods through WITS Labs – a series of seasonal cooking classes.

• FoodFight
Using schools as a platform, FoodFight arms teachers, students and school staff with the tools and knowledge they need to make healthier choices and become role models and agents of change for their families and communities. FoodFight has both a cutting-edge ‘Teacher Wellness Program’ and a curriculum for the classroom, designed to engage students in the larger national conversation about food, food politics and critical consumership. Find out more here.

• Common Threads
Common Threads teaches children in underserved communities how to cook wholesome, healthy meals in schools, after-school programs and summer camps for the past 10 years. Through Common Threads, students gain serious culinary skills, a taste for healthy foods from different countries and the confidence to make healthy choices about what they eat. With over 120 cooking programs in place already, Common Threads aims to get one million kids cooking in the next 5 years!

• Purple Asparagus - Delicious, Nutritious Adventures™
Delicious, Nutritious Adventures™ brings healthy foods to life for kids in elementary schools across Chicago. Students taste new foods, learn about where they come from and why they benefit their bodies, and how to make simple and healthy meals using them. Taught during the school day, each monthly class highlights a seasonal ingredient starting with apples in October and ending with berries in June.

Check out this Pinterest Board to find out more about programs already in place and stay tuned to read about some more of our favorites.

Food Education Resources

Not only are there some great programs already in place, but there are also some great resources used by schools and districts across the U.S., from interdisciplinary classroom and garden education to hands-on cooking classes. If you are looking for a way to make a difference in the way your students eat and think about food, check out these resources to get started.

Don’t forget to send your food education stories to us at and if you haven’t already, sign up to support getting food education to every kid in every school here.

The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation Team

Photo Credit: Reana Kovalcik, Wellness in the Schools


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