Food Revolution Day is kicking off on Friday 15 May to get children everywhere excited about good, fresh, real food. It’s a global day of action to celebrate the importance of cooking from scratch, and to raise awareness of how it impacts our health and happiness.
We’re currently facing a global obesity epidemic, but Jamie passionately believes that by educating children about food in a fun and engaging way, we can equip them with the basic skills they need to lead healthier, happier, more productive lives.
Jamie would love for you and your (or your kids’) school to get involved on the big day. On Friday 15 May, he’ll be hosting his exclusive online Food Revolution Day cooking lesson, where he’ll be making his super simple Squash it sandwich recipe online at foodrevolutionday.com/schools. Schools out there: download the school resources pack, jammed with loads of fun activities and ideas, and make sure you tune in, get involved and cook along in the classroom.
Over 9,000 schools registered to participate in Jamie’s lesson last year, so as we gear up for the big day, let’s look back on some of the highlights and share some of the top tips from Food Revolution Day 2014 so you can get involved and help us make this year even bigger.
Tip 1: Be the change you want to see
Brenda Gaylan, the Ffamily & Cconsumer Sscience teacher at Jackson Creek Middle School in Indiana, USA tries every day to ensure that her students learn that cooking foods from their natural state is the best way to fill their bodies with good nutrients. She is trying to teach them the importance of cooking their own real food as a way to control what they put into their bodies.
AAs a teacher in a US school, in the United States she noted, “My students are concerned about our processed food sources and fast food here in the US, and we wanted to get involved in this event to help be the change that we wanted to see in the world”.
Nearly 150 students got involved, and the Herald Times in Bloomington, Indiana printed an article in the paper about their efforts.
Tip 2: Get your school cooks involved!
Head tTeacher Jason O’Rourke , head teacher at Washingborough Academy in Lincolnshire, England, is not one to shy away from a challenge. His school, Washingborough Academy in Lincolnshire, England, has a brilliant whole- school approach to food and is always looking for new ways to get the children involved in hands on cooking opportunities.
As soon as Food Revolution Day 2014 was announced, Mr O’Rourke knew that this was the perfect opportunity to get the whole school involved in doing something together. The only challenge was going to be how to sourcinge ingredients for 297 rainbow salad wraps without breaking the bank.
After mulling it over, Mr. O’Rourke spoke thought to speak to his school caterers, the Farm Kitchen, toand see if they might be able to help. As school cooks are used to sourcing large amounts of food, they were happy to help and even ended up donating all of the ingredients to the school at no cost. All in all, 297 children participated across different classrooms in the school, and the afternoon ended with pupils sharing their homemade wraps with parents in the playground after school.
Tip 3: Find a way for every child to join in the action
Greenvale School in Lewisham, London, is a community special school for children and young people between the ages of 11 and 19 who have severe and profound learning difficulties, including those with additional diagnosis of autism, and those with special medical needs. Many pupils have additional physical and sensory disabilities.
On Food Revolution Day 2014 all of the students in the school took part in Jamie’s live lesson in some way: even if they were not able to practically get involved in the cooking due to because of their physical disability, they were still able to smell and feel the ingredients with support from staff.
Some of the children focussed on shaking up the salad dressing, and others were given tasks of chopping, grating, picking herbs, and wrapping., based on ability. Each class had set up their tables in front of the screen and students were excited and well prepared!.
In the week leading up to the big day the students did a rangevariety of prep work, including reading an adapted version of the recipe with symbols and pictures, sequencing what had to done, designing posters for school, checking up online shopping to see how much the ingredients would cost, measuring out ingredients, and finding out about the different ingredients and how they grow. The response from the staff was incredibly enthusiastic, with many commenting after on what fun it had been was, and what a successhow well it had been with the students had got involved.
Annie Sullivan wrote, “One of the best bits for me was hearing a student, before we prepared the food, saying “yuck I don’t eat that!” and then tucking in to twoTWO wraps, complete with all ALL ingredients, after making them.”
Tip 4: Get a local chef to help translate the lesson
Euroschool Rovel in Bulgaria invited a local chef to assist in leading Jamie’s live lesson to help present the steps in both English and Bulgarian. The chef was able to use the resources to incorporate their own fun trivia, healthy food and lifestyle advice, and get all of the children excited about cooking. All in all, 59 children participated, and the event was ‘Big fun!’ for the whole group.
Tip 5: Make a splash in the local news
Nearly 400 children from Jerudong International School in Brunei cooked along with Jamie from the hall of their school. The event was big enough to make it to the homepage of the Borneo Bulletin newspaper, creating excitement across the small country. Witness Sanith Roy Prabhakaran noted “I tasted one of the wraps- absolutely delicious!!”.
Tip 6: Get new teachers excited to cook
Years 5 and 6 at Hythe Primary School in Southampton are no strangers to cooking. Their class has been involved in Jamie Oliver’s Kitchen Garden Project for over a year, and they have brilliantly integrated cooking into their Friday afternoon routine. However, they have sometimes found it hard to convince other teachers to follow suit.
Food Revolution Day 2014, therefore, was a great opportunity to invite everyone to get involved! They made it a whole school event and found that it was just the thing they needed to get the other teachers on board. After the day, every teacher agreed that cooking should happen more often, as the lesson showed how possible it is to cook with an entire class of children, even without a kitchen.
Jo, a teacher from Yyears 5 and /6 said, “It was a huge day that has certainly raised the profile significantly of cooking healthily in schools. The impact here is really clear as I finally have teachers other than me wanting to cook!”
To find out more about Jamie’s exclusive Food Revolution Day lesson, or to download the teaching pack and get involved visit www.foodrevolutionday.com/schools.