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Many children, many vegetables, one salad!

If each kid brings at school one vegetable, what will happen? A nice salad! Provide schools with the rest - olive oil, vinegar, nuts, whole grain bread, tuna in cans,any healthy food that lasts long. During the lunch break, the teachers teach kids how to cut a vegetable, mix the ingredients and serve! Then children will do the rest. That means that children will eat a salad with their meal every weekday!

Photo of Angeliki Angeletou
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There are a lot of problems to overcome in this challenge.
First of all, is the mentality of food; processed food is promoted constantly through ads, in the supermarkets, at school, everywhere. Kids end up never seeing food in its initial form.
Everything comes in packages and must be cheap and microwave fast to prepare.
Second is the lack of funds for education. Hiring a teacher to teach food and cooking for every school is going to be probably quite expensive.
Third, children are overwhelmed by the numerous lessons they take at school and loose interest and attention. They really need to play, they don't need more working-hours!
Fourth, industry. Industry interests lie nowadays mostly on the side of processed food.

In this concept, some basic kitchen supplies will be needed, like the food that you can buy once and leave in a drawer forever; olive oil, vinegar,nuts, whole grain dry bread, tune in cans, olives, etc. Also some kitchenware ; like knives (or chopping devices) especially designed for children so that they won't have to carry them from home. These goods, if they are bought wholesale, are not expensive and will cost much less to the school than to the parents. Moreover, the lunch break should probably be expanded; I estimate that no more than 10 minutes will be needed.

Each kid (age 5-10) brings one vegetable that needs no cooking (tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage, cucumber,peppers, spinach, etc).
Teachers can help the children with the use of the knives until they gradually learn how to use it.
Teachers together with students put the chopped vegetables in a bowl and serve. At the same time, they can discuss with children about food, and optionally give some advice or present a vegetable each time.
This will be the best supplement to their food (whatever food they have with them or buy at school) and a celebration of the collaborative process of making food!
I think that this will be an activity that the whole class will be looking forward to every day!

Later, as teenagers, they will have more ideas about food and they can form groups and make their own salads with herbs, cooked meat pasta, etc.

This way we don't prevent children from eating crappy food, but we educate them in eating healthy. The goal is to become adults that eat every day a salad with their meal, thus changing the world and the industry towards this direction.

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)?

  • Elementary (Kids) 5-10
  • Middle school (Tweens) 11-13
  • High school (Teens) 14 -18

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

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