Let's Raise Food Adventurers!
The Foodies was born out of a desire to reconnect children with their food in a way which doesn't preach or make them feel confused or ashamed. Instead we focus on helping children to see the everyday joy in food. The miracle of a tiny seed turning into a huge plant and bearing baskets of produce. The magic of taking a raw ingredient and transforming it into something totally different through cooking. The endless adventure of trying different foods and exploring their tastes and textures. The deep connection we feel when we use food to make relationships with other people and their food cultures.
We live in an age of contradictions around food. On one hand there is a feeling of endless abundance and permanent global summertime, meaning we can theoretically get any food any time we want. On the other hand, the reality is that the food system which enables that illusion relies on an ever narrower range of varieties of foods, to be shelf stable and transportable. What looks like abundance is actually just volume.
Many of the foods we are eating are making us unhealthy, and messages around healthy eating are often confusing. And for many people in the world, including in our own neighbourhoods, food insecurity means that access to fresh healthy food is far from a given. We all know in our hearts that our planet cannot sustain the way we are eating, and global warming is only making food security issues worse. In our busy lives it is easy to get overwhelmed with all of the messaging around food. The weekly shop can make us feel anxious and guilty.
So what can we do? As parents and educators, we can do some really important things.
How can you do this?
If that sounds wonderful but overwhelming, don't worry!
The Foodies was created to give small steps which anyone can try.
Start with connecting your children to the seasons and how things grow.
You don't need a garden - that's what we are here for!
Start with one new fruit or vegetable a month. One recipe a month.
It doesn't sound like much, but if your child tries one food a month from today, before long you will be able to choose 30 or 40 different fruits and vegetables to put on your table. Can you imagine what that would feel like?
Let's do this together, one month at a time!
I created The Foodies Books to help my children and the children in my neighbourhood. I wanted to share the wonder of a veggie patch.
I'm not a nutritionist or a master gardener, but I ask their advice when I need it. I don't have special skills and I'm not some kind of super parent. My own kids (now late teens) are not gourmets, but they eat most things and they can fend for themselves. That's all I really need. I am an ordinary mom who likes to grow vegetables and likes to cook the things I grow. And I've taken that home knowledge and used in it schools and childcare facilities, and tried different approaches until I found things that work with groups of children.
I try to keep all my instructions simple and clear, as though a child would be following them. Because they will. Everything you find here, you will be able to try, no matter how little confidence you have. I am not an expert, I have just learned by trial and error, and this site is full of the things that I know actually WORK with young children.
Have a try - if I learned to do it, you can too!
I can't recommend the Foodies Books enough, they are amazing. Simple, great fun and educational without my 3 or 5 year old daughters noticing! Receiving them through the post caused great excitement each month and gave time for each new book to be treasured.
The children I work with love the books and the things we have tried from The Foodies website. I have a very fussy 10 year old who attends but I challenged her at the start of the year to try something new each month and she is doing really well. She has discovered ''new'' foods and is now prepared to try almost anything. Her 4 year old brother now shows signs of being less fussy too. A great result all round!
Twelve seasonal and enchanting fruit and veg stories with a sound message, each story encourages the reader to share a value for the month. I have used these books in our Primary school and they have inspired us to start growing many of the 'character' fruit and vegetables. I would recommend every school has copies - they are inspirational.
Reception Teaching Assistant