Food Curriculum project
Vegetables.co.nz and the Heart Foundation are working together to provide Year 7 and 8 teachers with resources to help them teach students the fundamental skill of being able to cook a healthy meal within their own budget, cultural and time constraints.
This initiative is the result of Massey University research that showed many Year 7 and 8 teachers were focusing on baking and sweet making in the classroom.
Each lesson plan includes a recipe with a video, food preparation and cooking skills to master, and an activity. These are all in a digital format and can be downloaded, free of charge, from the Heart Foundation website. A suite of Food skill cards, Easy Meals with Vegetables, safe food resources, and a student assignment are also included. The lesson plans have been developed in consultation with more than 150 teachers who represented a range of school deciles and a wide geographical spread.
A series of Te Reo Māori activities are included to encourage the use of Māori. These include a Te Reo Māori bingo game and word activities, which provide opportunities to learn about kupu tunu kai (words used in cooking). These are supported by the Heart Foundation’s Toi te Kupu Māori and English Dictionary and huawhenua posters available from vegetables.co.nz. Feedback from teachers is very positive: “Māori bingo worked a treat. I would say full steam ahead. Great game!”
The resources were presented to teachers at the New Zealand Association of Intermediate and Middle Schooling (NZAIMS), Home Economics and Technology Teachers Association New Zealand (HETTANZ) and Technology Education New Zealand [TENZ] Conferences in 2019. This provided more opportunities for teachers to provide feedback and take the resources for trialling in their classrooms.
Professional development seminars (4 in 2018, 9 in 2019) held across the country have been very successful. One teacher said: “I absolutely loved attending the course and have implemented your programme as my new food tech programme this year. It has been very successful.”
Teacher feedback recommended continuing the approach of ‘by teachers, for teachers’ with vegetables.co.nz and the Heart Foundation taking facilitation and coordination roles.
For 2020, the focus will be on monitoring and evaluation. The professional development seminars will continue in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, and the Massey University research will be repeated.
Professional Development seminars will be held in:
Auckland at the Heart Foundation, Auckland, 8 May; register with GreerM@Heartfoundation.org.nz
Wellington at the Terrace Conference Centre, 22 May; register with AnnetteS@Heartfoundation.org.nz
Christchurch at Airport Commodore Hotel, 5 June; register with SophieP@HeartFoundation.org.nz
The project is supported by funding from the Ministry of Health.