Should children be taught about food?

Over the last few years we have seen an increase in people becoming more interested in food, with an ever increasing number of cooking and food shows on tv, the number of Instagram accounts that focus on food, recipes and nutrition and also the fact that more and more people have become aware of their own food “problems”, like alergies, intolerances, etc.

Forget about “trendy foods”, like kale, spirulina, seaweed, apple cider vinegar, quinoa… I’m talking in a more generic way, people are taking more control over what they eat, what’s in the foods they consume and where they come from. For many years we took what we consumed as granted, trusting food makers and suppliers without even questioning them.

Children in a strawberry greenhouse, learning about strawberries.
Children in a strawberry greenhouse, learning about strawberries.

Times have changed, people are looking and getting alternatives to, for example, milk – like coconut, almond and soya milks -, butter, meats and fish, rice and pasta, bread… So, my question is, should children learn and be taught about food? Should they learn where the food they consume comes from, how it’s produced and made, what is in it? Should they know about what makes food healthy and unhealthy?

And if the answer to these questions is yes, then who should teach them? Do parents have an obligation to teach them early on? Should schools teach their students about it? I think both parents and schools have the obligation to do so, without a doubt. Why wouldn’t you, as a parent or a teacher, want your kid(s)/students to learn how to be healthy and to help them make the right choices? Wouldn’t you want that? Wouldn’t you want them to thrive?

A mother and her children in a vegetable garden.
A mother and her children in a vegetable garden.

What the likes of Jamie Oliver are doing, trying to improve the quality of food in schools, making everyone aware of this through tv shows and other programs, is admirable and obviously a good thing to do, but is it enough? And why is it that just one chef (as far as I know, please correct me if I’m wrong), one person, seems to be doing anything to change this issue? Sure, the government has been involved in changing the way products are labelled, but shouldn’t they be doing more?

Charity starts at home. We’ve all heard that. But education also starts at home. Parents have the duty to teach their children, to prepare them the best they can to the “world out there”. Schools should have food subjects and, even better, gardens where all sorts of foods can be grown by the students themselves and even teachers. I mean, wouldn’t that be fun? Wouldn’t that help kids to be (more) responsible and knowledgeable of what they eat and consume?

Kids learning how to plant vegetables.
Kids learning how to plant vegetables.

What do you think? Should children (and adults too actually) be taught about food? They say kids are our future, which I agree, so let’s help them get there in a healthier way, with more knowledge of what they eat.

#theeleven11 🙂

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