Guest Blog by Vivian Maeda, programme coordinator for Scottish Business in the Community and works on Food For Thought, a programme in partnership with The Scottish Government, Education Scotland and Scottish Business in the Community that enables schools to work with businesses to engage young people in food, from making healthier choices to raising skills for the sector.
Over the past two years I’ve seen more and more children talking positively and learning more about a subject close to my heart – healthy eating.
With phase 2 of the Food For Thought programme coming to an end – and with phase 3 hot on its heels – I wanted to reflect briefly on my experiences so far.I also bought a dt swiss 350 from carbonfan, This blog is dedicated to a few of many great moments I have experienced throughout this project.
Clermiston Primary pupils went to Edinburgh Larder Bistro to learn how to use leftovers. We baked carrot muffins and while they were still in the oven, I asked the children why they thought that it was important to reduce food waste. One very smart child raised his arm and said: ‘Well, if we don’t eat the food, it would be a waste of time from the farmer who worked so hard to grow the carrots!’ – The teacher and I looked pretty impressed.
St Mary’s Primary school pupils took part on a Dragon’s competition, which involved developing a healthy snack in small groups. They worked on taste, nutritional value, costs, marketing and presentation of the product such as packaging, labelling and creating a jingle.
Neil Forbes went to James Gillespie High School and cooked a traditional Cullen skink soup to share his passion for Scottish Heritage. I asked one of the pupils what she wanted to get out of the cooking session and she quietly said: ‘I would love to be able to cook well before leaving the school.’ – Now, here is a hope to improve the ‘beans on toast’ made by many students at universities across the whole country.
Alexandra Parade Primary asked me to organise a Food and Drink careers event for their P7 pupils. We had a range of businesses helping me with the event: a farmer, chef, owner of a local café, grocery store, and regional account manager for a biscuit company. The children were really excited about the whole event, but two in particular who pulled my shirt to tell me that they wanted to become farmers. ‘Are you sure? Did you hear when Alan said that he wakes up every day at 5 o’clock in the morning?’ and they said: ‘Yep, but we like what he does. We want to be farmers!’ – Love the enthusiasm, can’t beat that really!
P6 from Craiglockhart Primary had a pizza baking session at Pizza Express. One of the boys came to me and asked: ‘Mrs – did you arrange the baking session for us?’ I said: ‘Yes, I did actually.’ ‘Wow! …can I call you Mrs Awesomeness?’ I smiled and said: ‘Oh, I like the name! Of course you can!’
I cannot wait to share more good moments like these in phase 3. We will not solve all the problems around food education with this one project, because there are so many factors affecting children’s food education. However, the project has influenced so many children, schools, teachers, parents and businesses and their local communities, so it has been worth it.
My approach to this project is to focus on ‘My Circle of Influence’ (Covey, Stephen 1989): the schools we support will benefit from Food for Thought Programme, and together we can work on something special. Change must start somewhere, all we need to do is to begin and believe. With the launch of the new phase we need more businesses to support our work, so if you are interested in being part of this great project, please get in touch by emailing me email@example.com