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WHAT'S FOR DINNER!? - The last class of the day

Last class of the day would bring cooking curriculum back into schools and solve an age old daily question 'WHAT'S FOR DINNER?'. Kids would cook a tasty meal with enough servings to feed their family and bring it home for dinner! This addresses several opportunity areas: (read more in description)

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Written by DeletedUser

What's for dinner will aspire to address several needs:


1. Educate kids on the fun of cooking with their friends in an inspiring environment
2. Relieve the 'we don't have enough time to cook' pressure - a leading barrier to entry for parents
3. Provide recognition and a significant 'role' for kids in the family with the recognition they long for.
4. A more sustainable / cost effective food system with ingredients purchased in larger amounts to supply multiple homes with similar meals
5. A mechanism for the school to connect by creating a community based on food
6. Immediate feedback for kids that what they are learning makes a significant difference.


Design challenges:


1. Where will kids cook?
Use the facility that's already there! Lunch area with modest equipment. Alternatively a mobile truck could be used (temporary cooking vs. permanent)


2. Who will pay for this?
Since its providing family meals they could pay a subscription fee. Insurance? Kids cook food to sell? Subsidies via Michelle Obama? If the expense is seen as risky the program could be run on an experimental basis to prove the concept.


3. Who will teach the class?
Important question! If the food isn't good the program would fail on the first meal! Thinking something similar to Dave Eggers model where volunteers from the community roll up their sleeves with talent thrown at educating. Could be a part of a culinary education experience for example.
  

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
  • High school (Teens) 14 -18
  • Young adults 18-21

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
  • Peer Pressure
  • Lack of Knowledge

Evaluation results

7 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 - 71.4%

It's teaching people a moderate deal about food knowledge - 14.3%

It's teaching people a little about food knowledge - 14.3%

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 - 100%

It's moderately about getting people to cook - 0%

It's getting people to cook a little - 0%

It's not focused on cooking at all - 0%

3. Originality - How original is this idea?

This idea is extremely original - 28.6%

This idea is somewhat original - 42.9%

This idea has some originality about it - 14.3%

I have seen this idea before - 14.3%

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

This idea can be scaled across many communities and places - 28.6%

This idea can be scaled but needs some work - 42.9%

This idea will take a fair bit of work to scale - 28.6%

This idea cannot scale at all - 0%

11 comments

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Photo of Chandra Shekhar

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Photo of Divya  Hirani

I love the idea of giving children permission to go explore the kitchen, as a kitchen is seen to be a very adult environment, also allows children to start exploring different kinds of foods from a young age. This can also make children more eager to try new things instead of sticking to the same stuff.

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DeletedUser

I think it's important to think beyond stereotypical cooking teachers. Think food design. Rachel Khoo: http://www.rachelkhoo.com/ (a Brit based in Paris), Julie Rothhahn: http://juliehhh.com/ (Frenchwoman based in France), Marije Vogelzang: http://www.marijevogelzang.nl/studio/home.html (Dutch eating design with a restaurant, Proef, in Amsterdam), Tricia Martin: http://www.eatingisart.com/ (an American who wrote her thesis and started a company on the topic). I could even picture a online cooking school which is facilitated by an in-school teacher.

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DeletedUser

I love this idea! It is incredibly practical and 'ticks all the boxes'. While the concept is not entirely original, I agree that it is time for "home-ec" style classes focused on healthy living to come back into the national curriculum!

Photo of Demian Repucci

I like your reference to Dave Eggers and the Superhero Supply Co. The genius behind that model, I think, is that it attracts volunteers to contribute, not only by the desire to help, but also because the concept is super clever at it's foundation, it's product offerings are fun and clever, it's graphic identity is smart and crisp, etc. It resonates with the kids coming for tutoring support AND with the adult volunteers who want to be a part of this hip, tongue-in-cheek community.
If 'Superhero Supply Co,' is used as a conceptual launching point for an after-school cooking class a couple things come to mind. Since 'Superhero' is about tutoring kids with their schoolwork, maybe a cooking class could intertwine 'teaching moments' into the meal preparations by bringing in related lessons about math (weights, measures, fractions, etc.), science, business, etc. The more educationally relevant the more school systems and parents will support it.
This also makes me think that this idea could be an extension of the storefront concept that Jamie set up in his 'Food Revolution' TV series. But of course there is a lot of opportunity there for development. Thanks for the idea!

Photo of DeletedUser

DeletedUser

An excellent idea!
If you can show how interesting creating food can be, and make it fun, creative and relevant, then the pupils would be willing to engage and play with the vegetables and utensils!
This could lead the way to children been able to be independent and take pressure off mum and dad to make sure the kids are getting healthy meals.
They could also learn about local/seasonal produce and the benefits of using these.

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DeletedUser

Great idea. Similar to the Lunchdate in Schools idea. Combining critical services like grocery provision and education to make life simpler for families.

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DeletedUser

I think this is quite an innovative idea if school were take on the full idea. With so many parents working full time this could alleviate the pressure and encourage young people to take an active part in their family. I feel another positive of this concept is the idea that children cook together, maybe it would stay with them thoughout their adult life so they would cook together as a family. The meals that the young people would be making need to be looked at carefully. A few months ago my nephew made angel delight in his supposed cooking lesson! The children at our local high school make meals which use very little transferable skills. I would love to see this kind of concept being taken seriously by schools. It could also incorporate cooking locally produced food which parents could pay for.

Photo of DeletedUser

DeletedUser

love it! just as the "role models" idea, I like that it bring kids into the kitchen and integrates them with food in a more practical way. I found this could be less abstract than telling kids about what ingredients, produces or type of foods are better than others, to actually provide healthy foods for them to try and like. (example: making and trying broccoli quiche, as opposed to being told by someone that broccoli is a good thing to eat) (also prepared dishes are closer to what you actually might find at the dinner table or a restaurant menu)

Photo of Arjan Tupan

Great idea. Starting at school by giving children the knowledge on how to cook a simple but good meal should be very effective. And I agree with the "Last Class Of The Day" principle. In The Netherlands when I grew up, a weekly swimming class was mandatory for all primary school students. So why not cooking?

Photo of Vincent Cheng

Creative time choice and leveraging of school facilities. Another approach/benefit: this could be an "after-school" program, not just a "last class of the day".