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December 01, 2022

Early learning

Elementary K-3

Elementary 4-6

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High School

Learning Together with Food

Discover how learning together with food grows food literacy and supports wellbeing – and get free food literacy teaching resources for every age. 

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Highlights

  • What is food literacy?
  • The four pathways of food literacy
  • Why focus on food literacy?
  • How Teach Nutrition supports food literacy

All of us increase our understanding of food over our lifetime as we learn with and from people, places, foods, objects, and ideas. When we nurture these connections, we continue learning together with food and grow our food literacy. 

 

What is food literacy? 

Many of us are hearing the term “food literacy” more and more. But what is it? If you search for “food literacy” you’ll find a lot of different definitions. However, we didn’t want to pick just anything. We wanted to make sure the food literacy definition we use resonated with you! So, through research and collaboration with early learning in child care (ELCC) educators, teachers, and Registered Dietitians, our Teach Nutrition team created this meaningful definition to guide our programming.  

 

Food literacy is learning about and engaging with the many roles of food for ourselves, others, and our world. 

Four pathways enable us to explore and develop our understanding and skills within food literacy: 

  • Food systems: How food grows, how it is produced, and how it is made available.
  • Food skills: How to identify, plan, get, store, prepare, and eat food.
  • Food context: How the foods we eat reflect our needs and resources.
  • Food story: The relationship between food, culture, and identity.

 

We learn about different parts of food literacy, in big or small ways, through our day-to-day experiences with food. The food literacy definition includes four distinct pathways. But in our lives, these pathways often interconnect and overlap; one activity can link to more than one pathway. Learning together with food is a journey that can last your lifetime. 

Why focus on food literacy? 

As you are already an important support for children’s wellbeing now and in the future, focusing on food literacy is a worthwhile investment. Food literacy and its pathways have been linked to the following benefits: 

  • Increased likelihood of eating a nourishing diet
  • Increased connectedness to others with respect to food and eating
  • Positive sense of self
  • Positive shifts in perseverance, problem-solving, critical thinking, leadership, teamwork, and resilience
  • Learning across areas such as language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science

 

How our work supports food literacy 

All of Teach Nutrition’s programs and resources are about learning together with food. They connect with one or more food literacy pathways. Not all food literacy concepts are meant to be taught at all ages. Our team of Registered Dietitians has ensured that developmentally appropriate activities and messages are included in our materials so you can use them with confidence.

Resources to support food literacy

All of Teach Nutrition’s programs and resources are about learning together with food. See what is available for you!

Explore free resources

All Levels

Let's Talk About Food

Need some guidance on how to approach conversations around food and eating with students?[...]

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Early learning

Elementary K-3

A Guide to Cooking Techniques

This resource provides descriptions and visual demonstrations for techniques such as measuring,[...]

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Early learning

Elementary K-3

The Curious Cook Video Series

“Hi everyone! Sam here, with another episode of The Curious Cook!”  

Sam[...]

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Early learning

Elementary K-3

The Curious Cook: Milk

When Ahmad brings labneh to school, Sam is inspired to visit Farmer Anna’s dairy farm to[...]

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Early learning

Elementary K-3

The Curious Cook: Wheat

When Marco shares focaccia for afternoon snack, Sam is inspired to visit Farmer Louis’ grain[...]

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Early learning

Elementary K-3

The Curious Cook: Strawberries

When Lily serves strawberry sauce with dinner, Sam is inspired to visit Farmer Leona’s u-pick[...]

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Early learning

Elementary K-3

Food Adventures with Felix the Farmer

Food, food, glorious food! We eat it every day, but what do we really know about it? With[...]

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Early learning

Mealtime Roles in Early Childhood Poster

Discover how you can support children’s journey as they learn to eat a variety of foods.[...]

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