Spoons Across America is excited to announce a new program for the 2017-2018 school year! Launching in participating schools, Spoons Food Explorers is a program for first grade children that begins the exciting journey through all five years of Spoons Across America’s food literacy and nutrition education programming. By starting their food journeys early, children are able to explore new textures, smells, and tastes alongside new skills and learning experiences in the classroom.
Spoons Food Explorers is a 2 session program during which children fill out a “Food Passport” as they follow a “sensory map” on a healthy food adventure. They engage all their senses as they explore fresh, healthy foods before using some of these ingredients to make a simple and healthy recipe. Children close the program by contributing to a group book and taking home a family newsletter that includes the recipe they made in class. Key to every Spoons lesson is discussing what children are seeing, smelling, feeling, and, of course, tasting. Children speak about what they like and don’t like and share with each other what they are experiencing. One of our favorite sayings is “don’t yuck my yum”. Sharing a tasting experience with their classmates helps children understand that taste is different for everyone and that everyone likes different things – what is a “yum” to one child may be a “yuck” to another and even though one taste or texture may be a “yuck” to me, it might be a “yum” to you. Introducing new and unfamiliar foods to children in a way that lets them explore taste, texture, and smell without pressure or stress encourages them to become more curious and adventurous eaters.
After experiencing Spoons Food Explorers in the 1st grade, children go on to Farm to Book in the 2nd grade. After Farm to Book comes Take a Taste with Spoons in the 3rd grade, then Spoons Recipe Days in the 4th grade, before children finish their five years of programming with The Dinner Party Project® in the 5th grade. Each year of programming builds on the previous year’s experiences and knowledge and expanding on the skills they develop as they grow. The goal of this five-year comprehensive curricula is to progress alongside the children, introducing more and more complex ideas and skills as they grow and develop critical thinking and reasoning skills. Five years of repeated exposure to new foods and flavors in a stress-free, no-pressure environment enables children to explore fresh, healthy foods and build their confidence regarding food literacy and nutrition knowledge. After five years of Spoons Across America programming, children have the knowledge and skills to become confident and curious eaters, helping them make healthy food choices outside the classroom.
Follow Spoons Across America on social media to see Spoons Food Explorers and all of Spoons’ programs in action!
Click here for a fun way to explore some ways to reuse kitchen ingredients, including saving seeds for next spring!