There is plenty of evidence justifying teaching food skills in school.
We know good nutrition fuels growth and development, helping children meet their maximum potential.
We know eating behaviours are linked to academic performance, behaviour and self-esteem.
We know that chronic disease likely starts in utero and can be well established by early adulthood.
We know one in six children in B.C. live in food insecure households.
And yet, our schools are not set up to support healthy eating.
But there are further opportunities we are missing.
There is something magical in the positive peer-influence of eating a common meal with friends.
We have all seen this phenomenon when our child will eat something at their friend’s house that they wouldn’t dare eat in their own.
Without parents and power struggles, kids are much more curious and courageous around food.
The second is environmental sustainability. Classroom garbage cans are filled with cheese strings, granola bar wrappers and ziplock bags (or other non-recyclable, non-compostable food packaging).
Finally, food is an engaging way to teach numeracy, literacy and social skills to kids.
It is a platform to explore multiculturalism, gratitude and mindfulness.
Most schools no longer have proper kitchens or cafeterias.
South Canoe Elementary has been selected as a finalist for the BCAA Play Here grant ($100,000), but we need to go online and vote at www.bcaaplayhere.com.
We need to vote every day until June 23 on email, Google, Facebook and Twitter.
Vote for a student-led hot lunch program, engaging students and laying down the foundation for life-long healthy eating.
Or vote for the dream of never having to make your child’s lunch again. But please vote.