May 19th marks the first ever Food Revolution Day. The aim of this global event, headed by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, is to promote healthy eating and nutrition education, to inspire change in people’s eating habits and to curb the rise in obesity that is sweeping the western world.
The event is spreading awareness through local activities at schools, restaurants, businesses, dinner parties, street parties and farmers’ markets. Anybody can get involved. If you’d like to learn more, or if you have food knowledge to share, you can create a local food event, attend an event near you or host a dinner party.
The heart of Food Revolution Day is encouraging people to cook from scratch at home. Eating fresh, healthy meals helps protect from diet-related diseases. Cooking together at home brings the family together. It helps to learn about healthy eating, and teaches them valuable cooking skills which they can then to pass down to their own family later on.
To support families in making these healthful changes, the Jamie Oliver Foundation has created a Family Toolkit, filled with ideas to get started. Follow these ideas to create your own Food Revolution at home:
• Make a grocery list and stick to it Plan ahead and prepare a list of what you would like to cook for the week. You’re less likely to resort to ready meals or tempting junk food in the supermarket isles.
• Get kids involved in the shopping Bringing your kids along on the weekly food shop gets them involved, so they are more likely to eat the foods you prepare. It’s also a great opportunity for them to learn about different fresh foods, and to teach them how to read food labels.
• Grown Your Own You don’t need a huge garden to grow your own food. Reconnect with real food by keeping some pots of herbs on the kitchen window sill, or growing a tomato plant. It helps kids to understand where food comes from and teaches them the basics about natural ingredients and flavours.
• Learn to cook and get the whole family in the kitchen There are hundreds of books to help you to learn to cook from scratch. And there are plenty of easy and fun ways to get your kids involved too. Kids love making their own fruit smoothies. You could also make your own probiotic fruit yoghurt for the whole family. It’s also cheap and easy to sprout your own seeds, and children love watching them grow.
• Persevere! Changing our eating habits isn’t always easy. Habits can be hard to break and familiar food is comforting. Research shows that it might take as many as 8-10 attempts before a child will like a new food. Start with small changes, and begin with small portions and tasters. The Food Revolution starts with small steps. Celebrate small victories and don’t give up!
For more information on the Food Revolution, visit their website.