Children enter the public education system at the tender age of 5 and stay there for 13 years. During that time, they learn to read, write, and hopefully to become contributing members of society.This is not something to be taken lightly, as free public education was something unheard of a few hundred years ago.
In many respects, the modern educational system takes what was once the responsibility of parents, on itself. Now there are some things parents are still in charge of passing on to their children. For example, religion.
Wait, scratch that. The world of yesteryear where moms and grandmoms would toil in the kitchen and pass down the art of housekeeping and cookery to their daughters is long gone. So what’s a daughter to do? And a son , of course too?
In Berkeley, California, the school district has taken upon itself to educate kids about food, nutrition, cooking, and even the environmental impacts of their food choices.
Science classes in Berkeley are taught weekly in campus gardens. English, history and math courses are held regularly in the kitchen. The cafeterias have been rid of processed food, and everything is made from scratch.
The experiment started five years ago to teach a generation reared on junk food about good nutrition, where their food comes from and the environment. read more…
The results, compared to a control group of students, were amazing:
And in Florida, educators may need to do a whole lot of explaining to children in elementary schools if the state board of education goes through with its plan to ban all sugary drinks from school, including soft drinks, but more controversially, chocolate milk:
“When you think about it, we probably have a million overweight or obese children in our schools,” a board member said. “I think the clock is ticking in terms of personal health.” read more…
Hopefully this change will be just a part of a much bigger overall program, similar to the one at Berkeley. Many schools across the country are taking measures of one kind or other to change this or that aspect of school lunches, remove unhealthy foods from vending machines, and even setting up vegetable patches in the yard.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if there was a state level, or even federal level initiative, including funding, to create standards for kitchen and nutrition literacy for all children by the time they reach middle school? The government is now working on an update to the child nutrition bill (that deals mostly with funding school lunch). It would be wise to handle not just the lunch itself, but to take an integrative approach such as in Berkeley.
What’s your child’s school doing to improve her nutrition education? His ability to make healthier choices?