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TOOL KIT for teaching preschoolers about food

If parents do not know how to garden, cook and eat fresh foods they cannot teach their children to garden, cook and eat fresh foods. A TOOL KIT for parents of preschoolers would give specific resources to grow, prepare, cook and eat food. The TOOL KIST would be age specific so that the ideas fit the developmental stage of the child. There are tremendous resources across North America; we don’t need to create new programs or ideas to create a food revolution. We do need to change behaviors. We need to make growing food, cooking food and sharing those experiences with 1-4 year old children convenient, enjoyable and affordable for all parents. People are not engaging their young children in food growing and preparing because they do not have the knowledge or interest. As health and food are more publicly linked and as food safety rises as a concern people will get motivated but they will still need a clear set of instructions. The TOOL KIT would give options for growing food on balconies, in yards in urban gardens, it would explaine how Community shared agriculture allows you to get farm fresh food with less effort than visiting the supermarket and how cooking can be quick, easy and even fun.

Photo of DeletedUser
6 19

Written by DeletedUser

 The TOOL KIT will leverage the community garden association; CSA association, young children healthy eating programs, cooking with children resources and more. The issue today is accessibility! The TOOL KIT would eliminate the need for the parents to search for resources. This concept will only work if it has National support and funding as the information would have to be accessible through web and print material as well as social media. The TOOL KIT would highlight the continuum of healthy food instead of having one resource for gardening, one for CSA’s, one for cooking, one for nutrition: A true one stop shop for educating preschoolers on food. If we educate preschoolers we will create a new way of eating and new food habits. Once the children go to school the habits would be formed and the school age programs would build on that foundation. I was fortunate in that my mother taught me to garden and cook and I am now teaching my children. They understand food and they love to grow, prepare and eat food. I believe that when they do go to school in the next couple years, they will reject the convenience foods and teach others about the delicious real food in their lives.

Age of kids. The solutions to changing kids’ eating behaviors will vary depending on their age. What works for a toddler won’t necessarily fly for a teenager, although we suspect some concepts might be appropriate for all ages—even adults! Which age bracket does your concept address (tick all relevant boxes)?

  • Pre-school (Tots) 2-4

Hurdles to success. Helping kids make smarter food choices comes with a variety of hurdles that have to be addressed in order for a design solution to be successful, which of these do you think that your Concept overcomes (tick all relevant boxes)?

  • Expense and Convenience
  • Lack of Knowledge

Evaluation results

8 evaluations so far

1. Food Knowledge - To what extent is this concept teaching people about food knowledge?

It's teaching people a great deal about food knowledge - 37.5%

It's teaching people a moderate deal about food knowledge - 62.5%

It's teaching people a little about food knowledge - 0%

It's not focused on food knowledge - 0%

2. Cooking - Is this concept focused on getting people to cook?

It's all about getting people to cook - 25%

It's moderately about getting people to cook - 50%

It's getting people to cook a little - 12.5%

It's not focused on cooking at all - 12.5%

3. Originality - How original is this idea?

This idea is extremely original - 12.5%

This idea is somewhat original - 37.5%

This idea has some originality about it - 37.5%

I have seen this idea before - 12.5%

4. Scalability - How scalable is this idea across communities and geographies?

This idea can be scaled across many communities and places - 25%

This idea can be scaled but needs some work - 50%

This idea will take a fair bit of work to scale - 25%

This idea cannot scale at all - 0%

6 comments

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Photo of Laura Norvig

This is a great idea, and I think it needs to be combined with other ideas to provide more incentive and opportunity. Sometimes parents not gardening or cooking isn't about lack of knowledge, but about lack of time. Maybe brainstorm ways that groups of parents can support one another with community garden plots or sharing produce, sharing gardening work, sharing cooking nights, etc. Also, brainstorm ways that more of the responsibility remains with the kids.

Photo of Laura Norvig

This is a great idea, and I think it needs to be combined with other ideas to provide more incentive and opportunity. Sometimes parents not gardening or cooking isn't about lack of knowledge, but about lack of time. Maybe brainstorm ways that groups of parents can support one another with community garden plots or sharing produce, sharing gardening work, sharing cooking nights, etc. Also, brainstorm ways that more of the responsibility remains with the kids.

Photo of DeletedUser

DeletedUser

Thanks for the link Meena, your idea looks great. I think Toolkits are the key if you want to bring about change, people need help and short of 1 one 1 consulting an appropriate and easy to use toolkit gives people the steps to follow and the confidence to take the first step!

Photo of Meena Kadri

Great concept. You might be interested in a toolkit idea about growing food I had over on the other challenge: http://bit.ly/9WnZeV I'd actually mapped it out towards the end of our inspiration phase and was then heartened to discover your concept along similar lines over here. Collaborative platforms indeed attract like-minds and breed synchronised thinking!

Photo of Jane Fulton Suri

This is a great idea and rooted in 4 key themes! The TOOLKIT could be a growing and integrated system of elements that are all linked (through branding) to be age-appropriate tools (digging, planting, seeds, recipe books, cooking tools), literature, story books, web-based information for sharing ideas, results (how my garden grows! what we cooked last night!) that can be built-up and COLLECTED over-time, handed-down.
Imagine the pleasure of gift-giving to take the child to the next level.
Imagine starting with a core kit that can be extended in multiple directions, say from eating first, to making to eat, to growing to eat, and ever more sophisticated.
Perhaps also a reward system for contributing (pictures, recipes, ideas and adaptations) and earning community points to be set against acquisition of new elements.

Photo of DeletedUser

DeletedUser

I could not agree with your comments more. As the parent of an urban preschooler, I was just discussing with the preschool teacher how to get more experiential learning in the classroom - bring the outside in! We were talking about baking bread and food preparation in general which led to a discussion around composting and a program my son's older grade-school aged sister and I are involved in at her school called Cool the Earth (www.cooltheearth.org) with the Garden Club and after school program. Cool the Earth has been very successful in educating kids about climate change, our carbon footprint and what we all can do to reduce it and one of the key reasons is their very good TOOL KIT. In the last 6-8 weeks of school, we were able to take 1,850 actions to reduce our impact on the earth (approximately equivalent to eliminating 140 cars from the road). So much foundational work happens at that early age I am surprised there aren't more out there - especially for the preschool crowd.