BENEFITS OF FOOD ADVENTURES
Without the knowledge to make smarter food choices, prevalent health issues and their related economic hardships have serious health implications for Berkshire residents. Eating patterns and behaviors are developed throughout the critical ages of 5 through 18. By targeting children to deliver the Food Adventures curriculum we hope to give children the dietary and lifestyle skills and tools they need to live healthy lives.
Since Food Adventures’ inception in 2009, more than 1,200 classes have been delivered to some 7,000 Berkshire County school-age children in an effort to address health disparity rates in the Berkshire region. During the 2015-2016 academic year, nearly 150 classes were taught, and that number is ever-increasing, hopefully to include all of the county’s school children.
Most children who participate in Food Adventures said they were introduced to new, novel foods and nearly 70% of students of all ages indicated they would eat the foods prepared in class again. If they cook it, they WILL eat it! Or at least try it. More than half of the children said they would or have made Food Adventures recipes at home with their families. Bringing healthy food home and opening more fun avenues for healthy eating that the whole family can participate in is one of the many benefits of Food Adventures. Furthermore, as a population heavily targeted by processed food marketing efforts, children are at great risk of developing unhealthy eating habits that carry into adulthood. This is why nutrition education programs such as Food Adventures need to be developed and implemented for the school-age population.