Taste lessons is a unique teaching programma about nutrition and taste for primary school classes 1 to 8. Central to the lessons is the experience with food. Taste lessons provide children with a lot knowledge about nutrition and gives them experience in choosing healthy and sustainable products.
Taste lessons teaches children about taste development, health and origin of food products, in a positive and playful manner. Since Taste lessons became part of the Food Education Platform, teachers can expand Taste lessons with advanced teaching materials, complementary activities and excursions. In addition, 'packages' are developed surrounding several product groups. A packages consist of a combination of Taste lessons and complementary activities surrounding a particular product group.
To aid the research, it was chosen to develop one package and evaluate the effect of this package. Together with the support center of Taste lessons and EU School Fruit, a vegetable package for primary school class 6 and 7 is developed. The vegetable package consists of:
- Five Taste lessons regarding taste, health and food quality
- A vegetable quiz, from the programme EU School Fruit
- Visiting a farmer
- Supermarket game with a homework assignment, from the programme SuperShopper
- Concluding meeting in which children make small dishes and parents are invited to taste them
- Cooking and discussing the package by a dietician
The aim of the research is to investigate whether offering a package at schools is more effective in stimulating children to eat consciously and to eat sufficient amount of vegetables, than when Taste lessons is used without the package.
Role played by AGORA
The research examining the effect of the vegetable package took place within AGORA, together with Wageningen University, MHS north-east Gelderland and regional practice organisations like Vérian and Sensire. In collaboration with the MHS, schools were recruited. Then, a kick-off meeting was organised for all schools interested in using the vegetable package or Taste lessons. This meeting was organised in collaboration with the MHS and the support center of Taste lessons and EU School Fruit. In addition, dieticians from Vérian and Sensire were asked to guide the concluding meeting, and the MHS has searched for farmers who were willing to receive primary schools for an excursion on their farm.
Marieke Battjes-Fries, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wageningen University, department of Human Nutrition