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Chow, Chew, Chat- The Real Food Intervention

A three tier intervention programme that encourages children aged 8-13 to recognise and ask for real and tasty food everyday. It will include in-school education, a user generated website and support packs for teachers and parents. 1.Tween Real Food Advocates - these will be the kids that lead the pack. They can develop new recipes, take charge of schoolyard crops, demonstrate knife skills in culinary class, imagineer online cooking games, organise a class cooking smackdown, investigate from where our food comes or just be the most adventurous taster in the class. Peer pressure can be a good thing! 2.Tween Cooking Think Tank- is an online place where Inspiration, progress and problems can be shared. An edible schoolyard in Berkeley could influence the growing of a pot of potatoes in Edinburgh. A 'Cranberry and Pecan Soda Bread' recipe posted from Co.Cork, Ireland could make a tasty afternoon snack in Chicago. There are so many people and organisations that love real food and simple cooking- we just need to hear each other. 3.Tween Cooking Support Packs for Adults- sharing new cooking skills and interests with family will be helped by simple information available to download, parents cooking days and an online chef to answer all questions.

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This intervention programme is inspired by the fact that although 85% of Americans think that the population is fatter than it was 5 years ago only 12% think that the people that they know are over weight. (1) This does not reflect reality -in fact these very social ties have a big effect on our health. Friends getting fatter can make us fatter (2) but friends getting healthy can make us healthy. Friends do not have be geographically close. Peer Pressure can work against us or for us.

A safe and secure (3) online site for the exchange of already established programmmes that are fresh food, child and farming centric will give the initial inspiration for classrooms. This site will also host Club Penguin-style cooking chat rooms and recipe exchanges where kids can meet. A platform for Food Activism will be present where letter writing campaigns and petitions can be accessed and professionally produced support packs for parents and teachers can be downloaded.

The technology is only the enabler. It is a conduit where a class of 11 year olds can have their homemade brownie recipe assessed for nutritional value by an undergrad class of dietitians on the other side of the world or a child that wants to cook a healthy chilli at home can find Miley Cyrus' favorite veggie-filled recipe.

The tween age group are huge influencer in family behavior (4) and are estimated to have a spending power of $43 billion in the US. Tweens are also hugely influenced by new social media like Twitter and quiz sites like Poll Pigeon. The real food intervention can piggyback on these established modes of forming social opinions and make real food and cooking the norm for this group. The 8-13 age group are proven to be influencers not only within the family but also in influencing younger age groups. As shown by the 2002 VERB campaign, to encourage kids to be active (5), when awareness and behavior is defined at this age it has a greater chance of continuing into their teens.





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)?

  • Middle school (Tweens) 11-13

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)?

  • Peer Pressure
  • Lack of Knowledge

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Project Lunch (tho High School) would make a great model: