GUEST BLOG: TastEd Comes to Sheffield!Fran
Eat Smart Sheffield is a Whole School & Settings Approach to Food and Nutrition programme commissioned by Sheffield City Council and developed and delivered by Learn Sheffield. Focused on encouraging and supporting pupils, families and the community to adopt healthier eating behaviours, it has two main aims:
- To give schools the tools they need to make long term changes to their food culture and their curriculum to support healthy behaviours
- To give pupils and their families the confidence, skills and knowledge they need to cook, grow and enjoy good quality affordable food, as well as increasing understanding of important food issues such as food sources and sustainability
In line with this, we offer Sheffield teaching staff training covering topics from cooking and growing to improving school meals and the dining experience.
Back in February 2023, we invited TastEd to Learn Sheffield to deliver two sensory food education workshops to 40 teaching staff. TastEd experts Ruth Platt and Kelly Robinson navigated the attendees through the principles of TastEd, going through a TastEd lesson, and exploring the resources available.
The sessions involved using all five senses to identify
fruit, vegetables and spices. Each activity was tailored towards a specific sense and was incredibly interactive and engaging. Before the session, many of the attendees were not familiar with sensory food education but attended with an open-mind, with the aim of giving children an opportunity to explore and become familiar with fruit and vegetables.
Attendees were equipped with the approaches to support ‘picky’ eaters in trying new foods. In line with Tasted’s two key principles – you don’t have to try and you don’t have to like they learnt to accept children’s reluctance to try, suggesting to explore foods using other senses rather than eating.
One primary school teacher said “I’m really loving this. I wasn’t sure what to expect but it’s really interesting, and I can’t wait to give a lesson a go with my class!”
Everyone got involved and contributed, and the sessions were a real catalyst for some insightful conversations around food. By the end of the workshops, all attendees felt confident that they could go back to school and run TastEd sessions in their classroom.
Indeed, feedback from the attendees reiterated just how successful the workshops were, with many planning to implement the lessons into their schools within weeks. And with comments such as ‘it was all so useful, lots of information and practical examples’ and ‘a brilliant course and very engaging’, the sessions were a real hit and are highly recommended!