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Greens plan to give children healthy eating skills



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GREENS PLAN TO GIVE CHILDREN HEALTHY EATING SKILLS

The Australian Greens have a $46.5 million plan for teaching kids what they need to know about food including funding up to 800 new school kitchen gardens and ensuring healthy eating and nutrition is part of the national curriculum.

“One of the best things we can do to help our children lead a healthy life is to teach them about food - how to grow it, choose it, buy it, cook it and store it,” Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne said.

“As a former teacher, I know nothing beats hands-on learning at school - children really love the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and learn new skills, which is why kitchen gardens like the Stephanie Alexander program have been such a huge success.

“We need to foster a culture of knowledge and passion for food from a young age so that children grow up to be healthy adults.

“It is important to teach our children food literacy so they can appreciate where food comes from and why eating well is so important.

“It’s also a way of supporting our farmers by educating children about the nutritional value of food that is local, fresh and seasonal.

“We must also help adults who have lost or missed out on this knowledge to gain these skills for a better quality life.”

The Greens will invest $46.5 million over four years from 1 July 2014:

• Ensuring that teaching about where food comes from is embedded into the national curriculum for primary and secondary students; • Fund up to 800 new school kitchen gardens projects, prioritising funding for schools in low socio-economic areas; and • Offering national grants for adult nutrition education programs targeting staff training for

welfare agencies that provide food relief and their clients.

Tasmanian Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said the Greens would provide grants up to $50,000 for 200 schools a year.

“It is time to expand the number of schools that can have a kitchen garden because the current demand is not being met,” Senator Whish-Wilson said.

“Programs like the Stephanie Alexander program have been an enormous success because children are enthusiastic and passionate about growing and preparing food.

“These programs are also having positive impacts on other aspects of school, including teaching children about building teamwork and providing varied learning experiences.

“School kitchen gardens also connect communities and provide employment for local gardeners, horticulturalists and garden experts.”

Media contacts: Senator Milne - Peter Stahel 0437 587 562 Senator Whish-Wilson - Thomas Moore 0488 334 733

Printed and authorised by Senator Christine Milne, Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600. Page 1 of 1

Knowing how to choose, prepare, cook and store nutritious food has become an endangered life skill.

The absence of nutritional knowledge and food preparation skills hampers people from eating healthily, contributes to the excessive consumption of unhealthy food and food waste.

We need to foster a culture of knowledge and pleasure in growing, choosing and cooking healthy food.

To do so we must teach our children food literacy - ensuring they appreciate where their food comes from and why eating well is important, and have the life skills to grow, budget, cook and store healthy food.

We must also help adults who have lost or missed out on this knowledge gain these essential skills for a better quality of life.

The Greens will invest $46.5 million over 4 years from 1 July 2014 to:

• Ensure that teaching about where our food and fibre comes from is embedded in the national curriculum for primary and secondary education;

• Fund up to 800 new school kitchen garden projects, prioritising funding for schools in low socio-economic areas; and

• Offer national grants for adult nutrition education programs, targeting staff training for welfare agencies that provide food relief, and their clients.

> BRINGING SCHOOL KITCHEN GARDENS TO MORE SCHOOLS The success of kitchen gardens, such as the Stephanie Alexander program, have shown that there is a real enthusiasm for practical hands-on education about food in our schools.

Evaluations of these programs show they are succeeding not only in teaching our children about growing and preparing food, but also positively impacting on other aspects of school, such as building teamwork and providing varied learning experiences that engage more children

i .

School kitchen gardens also connect communities and provide employment for local garden designers, horticulturalists and community garden experts.

It’s time to expand the number of schools that can have a school kitchen garden, as current demand is not being met. The Greens will provide grants of up to $50 000 for 200 schools a year.

> FOOD KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS FOR ALL LIFE STAGES Evidence from organisations like Anglicare show that adults most at risk of food insecurity have often not been given the opportunity to build their food knowledge and skills.

Providing funding to ‘train the trainer’ and increase the number of organisations who can offer these classes, as well as funding increased classes for some of Australia’s most vulnerable people honours our community belief that everyone has a right to a healthy and adequate diet. The Greens will provide $4 million over four years for adult nutrition education programs.

> OTHER PARTIES Labor provided funding for the first school kitchen gardens but its ongoing commitment is now in doubt. State Liberal governments have supported kitchen gardens but the Coalition has not indicated any commitment to continue their funding.

Funding for emergency food relief including support for adult food knowledge and skills training has been ad hoc under both Labor and the Coalition.

i See independent evaluation of Stephanie Alexander program - http://tinyurl.com/macc6se

KITCHEN GARDENS FOR SCHOOLS HEALTHY EATING SKILLS FOR LIFE The Greens’ plan for teaching our kids all they need to know about food

One of the best things we can do to help our children lead a healthy life is teach them about food - how to grow it, choose it, buy it, cook it and store it - and nothing beats hands-on learning at school.