Our lessons give children the chance to experience new foods, especially fruits and vegetables – and widen their food vocabulary. The programme is cheap and easy to deliver (the main cost is buying the fruits and vegetables although longer term we hope to get a sponsor to provide these to schools at no cost) and requires no cooking skills. Teachers have told us how rewarding it is to see previously reluctant children join in and try new foods. Reception teacher Ruth Platt has commented that after children receive TastEd lessons, ‘they develop a brand new relationship with food’. By the end of a course of TastEd, the children will have learned about their own senses as well as developing tools and techniques for trying new foods that they can take home and apply in everyday life. In TastEd, children don’t just learn where food comes from. They learn what food is. In our lessons, we’ve met many children who say they have tasted a lemon or touched a peach for the very first time.
These are mostly lessons in eating rather than lessons in cooking, but at Washingborough Academy, teachers have found that the TastEd programme is a great bridge to cooking and growing activities in school.
We know how busy teachers lives are. Rather than being a complicated extra, TastEd can make existing curriculum easier and more exciting to deliver. You can use it as a way to deliver literacy or nutrition (D & T) education – or ideally, both at once. We have found that our lessons engage all children with speech and writing, even those who lack confidence in literacy. Because the lessons are presented as being about food, the children almost do not notice that they are being asked to do literacy as well and the quality of work they produce is superb.
Added benefits are that the lessons make children more mindful around food and give them the space and self-confidence to talk about their likes and dislikes without feeling judged. For children who have experienced poor body image or disordered feelings around food, TastEd is a very nurturing and positive way to reconnect with the simple sensory pleasures of food. Through the two golden rules – no one has to like, no one has to try – the children learn important values such as mutual respect and boundaries.
Our lesson plans and PowerPoints – developed in collaboration with classroom teachers- are closely tailored to UK curriculum, focusing on the requirements for speaking and writing. The PowerPoints feature engaging imagery and are designed to be picked up and used straight away.
The most minimal course of TastEd would consist of five lessons, one for each of the five senses, but obviously the more TastEd you can fit into the school year, the more the children will benefit. As with any subject, repetition will embed the children’s knowledge. We have created a complete set of 12 lesson plans and PowerPoints for Reception and another set of 12 for Year 1 and 2, but the lessons can be mixed and matched and adapted to other year groups, depending on what’s in season and the rest of your curriculum.
We can also offer a set of Key Stage 2 lessons tailored to Tudor History, which proved hugely popular with Year 4s.
In addition, we are developing a set of five ‘food ed’ lessons for each year group at primary aimed to be more cooking-focussed for teachers who have access to a teaching kitchen. These would be perfect if you are a sports coordinator delivering nutrition lessons in school.
You can teach the lessons as a continuous course of 12 or in two sets of six, spread across two terms – or you could have a single TastEd ‘collapse day’ at the start or end of term. The complete set of lessons and PowerPoints – which we are constantly adding to – are available through the members’ portal.
Get started with our free lesson downloads below!
Year 1 lessons
Year 4 lessons
As well as English, TastEd can be used to deliver other subjects including PSHE, History, Art and Geography – the lessons all suggest ways to develop the theme into other subject areas.
We have also piloted TastEd for delivering PSHE at Secondary level for Year 7s and we will offer these lesson plans on our portal in the near future – let us know if you are interested.
Thanks to a generous donor, we can now offer FREE teacher training via Skype or in person (worth c. £400) if you want to get started with TastEd. We are offering this to schools that sign up to our members’ portal. We can tailor our courses to the needs of your school. Contact us if you would like more details.
Contact us if you would like to join our mailing list or to find out more about how your school can become one of the first schools in the UK to make TastEd part of the school day.