Sensory Food Education and Food Appreciation
The Flavour School Starter Programme for Reception and Key Stage 1, in our introductory teaching manual, is designed to get primary schools up and running with sensory food education. The lessons are easy and cheap to run; teachers don’t need any specialist equipment or advanced cooking skills.
Six cross-curricular lessons use simple, fun sensory activities and experiments with healthy foods, to teach children about how their five senses work and generate flavour experiences.
Children build vocabulary to better understand and express their experiences, and enjoy togetherness and shared learning around food, while also respecting each individual's taste experience. Flavour School uses experiential learning to build familiarity and positive associations with vegetables and fruit, and equip children with basic knowledge and behavioural tools to enjoy exploring food and flavour on their own beyond the programme.
After delivering the Flavour School Starter Programme, experienced teachers can go further, creating their own sensory food education lessons to suit their class and school context, and linking in to other school activities. We are working on a follow-up manual, which will provide ideas and guidance for building on the Starter Programme and continuing to embed sensory food education.
The Flavour School Starter Programme for Reception and Key Stage 1 is available free of charge - we just ask you to tell us a few things about yourself and your interest in Flavour School to help us understand our users.
Building teachers’ skills and confidence in sensory food education
Flavour School is designed to be cheap and easy to run, with step-by-step guidance to help you get going, whatever your level of experience with food education. Download it now to see how your school could benefit.
Together with the School of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Leeds, we are conducting research to better understand the outcomes of Flavour School on children’s eating behaviour, working with primary schools in London and Leeds.
We will look at how much more willing children become to taste veggies, fruits and whole grains. But Flavour School is not just trying to increase tasting - what we really want is to help children enjoy exploring food, grow their confidence and curiosity, and learn skills to communicate their sensory experiences, to equip them to take the learning with them beyond the classroom.
So we’ll also use cutting-edge technology to examine children’s behaviour in detail, looking at how much they are smiling and laughing, and the richness of the descriptive vocabulary they use. This will provide some of the richest analysis to date of how sensory food education can contribute to supporting children to build happy, healthy relationships with food.
The project runs Oct. 2018-Feb. 2021, and is funded by the EU Horizon 2020 science programme, Marie S. Curie Actions.