Over the past four months a Flinders Educator has been taking part in The Great Foodie Forage. This has involved foodies, cooks, educators and service directors from all around Australia engaging in an online program covering children’s health and well-being, sustainable practices, horticulture, fresh, creative and cost effective cooking, and making the role of menus and subsequent documentation far more visible and meaningful. This culminated recently with the inaugural forage tour, where fifteen participants travelled from all around Australia to Adelaide for the week. As the only South Australian in the group our Educator felt proud of Adelaide’s beautiful and food-rich culture and our sustainable practices. Highlights of the tour were many but here are a few;
- A visit to the children’s garden at the Botanic Gardens, a wonderful spot for children to learn about seasonal gardening and sustainability
- Cooking classes and challenges in the Barossa Valley to develop an understanding of seasonal, regional produce and the marketing of produce and food
- Driving with the Oz Harvest van attending pick up and drop offs. Oz Harvest in Australia’s leading food rescue organisation, collecting quality excess food from commercial outlets and delivering it directly to more than 1000 charities supporting people in need across the country
- A presentation by a communications professional about strategies to enable the telling of your early childhood setting’s food story
- Taking a look around Aldinga Beach Children’s Centre and learning about the establishment of their ‘Giving Garden’
- A half-day session titled Management of Dietary Needs of Young Children which included cooking classes using high nutrient, low fat delicious recipes run by Sprout Training
- a tour of the Adelaide Central Market and discovering interesting and culturally diverse foods
Our Educator has come back inspired, and full of ideas and quite a few questions…
How can we empower children in their food choices?
Is there enough consultation with children about the provision of their food?
Are we putting as much nutritional value and taste into the food we are providing for children by using low GI food and wholefoods?
Are we aware of the sources for all our supplies; are they local? How far have they travelled to get to Flinders?
Are we communicating the Flinders food story in the best way we can to our community?
Yet again, we wonder…