Development of a vegetable education kit (VG13089)
What was it all about?
Children in Australia as well as other western countries are not meeting the recommended daily serves of vegetables. The aim of this project was to develop a vegetable education resource for use by teachers in Australian schools, to investigate its effectiveness with teacher input, and to develop a technical implementation plan.
The school environment provides a good opportunity to teach children about healthy eating habits and to increase enjoyment of vegetables. School education programs have been shown to increase vegetable acceptance and willingness to eat vegetables.
The vegetable education resource needed to meet two main objectives. Firstly, it needed to be effective in achieving change among children, in the sense that students become more aware of vegetables, learn to enjoy them, and are more willing to taste them when they are offered them. These factors have been shown to be positively associated with vegetable consumption.
Secondly, it was necessary to align to the Australian curriculum, and be in a form that teachers could use in their classroom. This objective was important to ensure that teachers were willing to use the resource, as classroom time is limited and the curriculum is already very crowded.
The resulting resource was a comprehensive set of work modules targeting all stages of primary school, providing long-term education. It consisted of five lessons in each stage, and focused on hands-on learning, exposing children to the taste and texture of vegetables, and teaching them to actively use their senses when eating foods.
It also taught children about the development of their own food preferences, and focused on regionality and seasonality, cultural diversity, and aspects of vegetable growing.
This project has been funded by Hort Innovation
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