TastEd – www.tasteeducation.com
TastEd takes food processing and consumption into the classroom. The project uses food education in primary schools to change longer-term attitudes, tastes and food choices.
It is a new approach to learning about food based on the SAPERE sensory food education approach using all five senses to grow confidence with fresh ingredients, and learn about flavour and to do this in a fun and non-judgemental environment. They are lessons about eating rather than cooking, where children observe, smell, touch, listen to and finally taste fresh fruits and vegetables. The approach is widely adopted in Sweden and Norway and is an integral part of national curriculum in Finland, where is has been adopted by the Ministries of Health, Education and Agriculture. The project draws directly on these experiences and also offers support to parents to introduce such diets in the home.
This approach in the UK operates as TastEd and has been successfully piloted in the UK at Washingborough Academy in Lincolnshire over the past three years as well as at schools in Cambridge. The programme has been endorsed by the Soil Association as central to the Food for Life programme in over a thousand UK schools.
The TastEd classes that have been developed (34 programmed lessons in all) cover Reception through to Year 6 and have been written to be tailored to the UK literacy curriculum. By the end of a course of lessons, the children will have engaged with many speaking and writing tasks and have learnt to express themselves in similes and metaphors. They will also have experienced a wide range of fresh produce, some of which they may have tried before but some of which may be totally new to them.
Photo credit: Simon Barber