Why Food Education Matters

Every teacher knows that education reaches beyond the material contained in books and lecture materials. Students learn all sorts of things in school – from study habits to social skills. With many required elements in today’s curricula and a heavy focus on standardized testing, many schools are finding that the ‘extras’ are being marginalized, or even cut entirely. Art, music, and sports all have pretty vocal advocates fighting to keep them integrated into schools, one of the things that often gets looked over is food education. 

When I was little, my mom made everything fresh. We picked fruits in the summer, and she grew so many of her own vegetables. I knew, secondhand, that pasta sauce also came out of a jar, but I had no idea why you’d want to eat it. When I was about nine, I insisted that I wanted to eat Chef Boyardee Spaghetti-Os because my friends always got to eat them. I longed for this particular forbidden fruit, without really having any reason to want it besides the fact that other kids got to eat it. Eventually, my mother agreed, but I couldn’t even manage to choke down the Spaghetti-Os I had longed for – I thought they were so gross!

The handy infographic below takes a look at how important it is to educate kids about food choices and eating healthy. So many kids don’t know that real food doesn’t come out of a box. Keep reading to learn more.

Bring Back Food Education!

  • 96% of school children in the UK don’t eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables
  • In Australia, 20% of children thinks pasta comes from animals and 27% believe that yogurt comes from plants
  • The average American elementary student receives 3.4 hours of food education per year – less time than most kids spend watching TV each day!
  • 1 in 4 Americans visits a fast food restaurant every day
  • 50% of meals are eaten outside the home as of 2010
  • Americans spend more than $110 Billion on fast food each year
  • This is the third generation that won’t really know how to cook
  • In the last three decades obesity rates have doubled for adults and tripled for children
  • Obese individuals die, on average, about 10 years earlier than non-obese individuals
  • Teenagers who eat with their families at least five times per week are 40% more likely to get all As and Bs
  • Children who ate nutritious lunches improved their test scores and absence rates by 15%
  • People with healthy diets spend about $1429 less per year on medical expenses

 

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2 Comments

  1. educating my child

    February 4, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    This says it all – ‘this is the third generation that won’t know how to cook’. If a parent does not know how to cook, how can you expect them to teach their children? The habit of eating out is established, and is now intergenerational.
    Part of me says that it’s not the schools job, but the other part asks who can teach them?

  2. Brigitte Miller

    February 5, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Yes this is so true. Educating children that their body needs nutrition and good food is very important to start them off young in life. Parents need to show their children and be excellent examples. These darn soft drinks are not helping matters. Children need to drink fruit juices, milk, and water more. So get out there and help the children of the world eat better and healthy. Food education really does matter. Read the article and tell us what you think.

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