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Hort Innovation News and events Media Releases Helping Aussie kids explore food and its relationship to mood
Media Release

Helping Aussie kids explore food and its relationship to mood

Publication date: 27 January 2021

IT'S MORE IMPORTANT than ever that kids are given the right tools to learn how to boost their mood and have a positive mindset. Hort Innovation’s Phenomenom project launches a free innovative toolkit for schools and families, called The Good Mood Food Special.

Hort Innovation General Manager Research and Development Dr Alison Anderson said, “The digital resources, with Australian curriculum-aligned lesson plans across numeracy, literacy, humanities, and health, make it easy for teachers to engage kids in learning through videos, podcasts and activities, whether in the classroom or in a remote learning environment.”

“We have conducted research into these new resources and found that four in five teachers use digital resources more than once per week and nine in ten teachers would like to see more food and nutrition teaching resources available which is why we are launching The Good Mood Food Special.”

Phenomenom creator Alice Zaslavsky said, “Phenomenom has been the result of years of research and development, from a team of more than 60 talented creatives and specialists. The Good Mood Food Special is a natural progression which considers the changing nature of schooling, giving parents and teachers actionable resources to make teaching easy and enjoyable, all while helping build better relationships with food.”

The resources will help teachers and parents teach kids about how their mood can be impacted by food, and what else they can do to boost their well-being including spending time in green spaces and gardening. 

The package includes:

  • A fully animated video episode called a ‘webisode’ (voiced by comedian Matt Okine and Little Lunch star Madison Lu) with a specially composed song to gain kids’ hearts and minds
  • Three animated ‘Nomcast’ audio podcast episodes
  • Four PDF resources including lesson plans designed for teachers to pick up and run with in the classroom or set for the remote learning environment
  • Posters, classroom prompt cards and quiz questions designed for the Kahoot platform
  • A Good Mood Moves wheel encourages teachers to provide regular classroom mood breaks, using movement in line with current research to help boost engagement. It features a specially designed interactive wheel that gamifies fruit and vegetables into exercises that children benefit from doing regularly. 

Phenomenom creator Alice Zaslavsky said, “Contemporary research is highlighting how important it is to honour all of our kids’ feelings, not just the good ones, and we’re trying to give them the tools to learn to put themselves in a positive mindset, despite whatever obstacles might come their way.

“The program uniquely does this in a way that also provides teachers with amazing lesson plans that support numeracy and literacy through curriculum-aligned activities too.”

Hort Innovation Research and Development Manager and Accredited Practising Dietitian Jemma O’Hanlon said, ”There is a strong body of evidence supporting whole foods for a good mood. These resources will help teachers explain the science of good mood foods and the impact of green space on mood in a fun and engaging way. There is no better time to include more fruit, vegetables and nuts in our diet and enjoy our wonderful green spaces.”

The package, wheel and all resources are available for free online at


More information:

Maria Stathis
Media and Public Affairs Manager
Contact details
0447304255 Send an email
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