Fahan Junior School students took part recently in The Mad Food Science Program run by Belinda Smith from The Root Cause. The program is designed to teach children how to make healthier food choices for life. The program gives children the power and motivation to make these choices, so they can take responsibility for what they put in their mouth. The classes were enjoyable and interactive and covered five key areas:
1. What is a wholefood and what is a processed food?
2. Understanding carbohydrates, fats and proteins and why all are important.
3. Understating how sugar affects mood, behaviour and learning.
4. What is an additive and preservative, and how they can affect you?
5. How to read labels on food packets.
During the discussions the girls participated in a number of experiments where they became scientists. They then discussed what they had learnt from each experiment about food and healthy choices.
“I learnt to read the backs of packets so you know what you are eating, especially how much sugar,” said Jessica Sypkes.
“I learnt how much sugar is in processed foods. We participated in an experiment where we compared wholefoods with processed foods. We had to try and squish them to see how small they would be and the processed food squished to almost nothing! This shows us that there is not much energy in this type of food,” explained Grace Campbell.
“I will look more at the packaging now because there are lots of hidden ingredients. I enjoyed looking at the different products and working out how much sugar is in them and also the other things like preservatives,” said Millie Lindell.
“I found that there are a lot of different things that make up packaged foods. I liked the experiment where we had three different glasses full of water and then dropped a drop of food colouring in and watched what happened – each drop looked different in the different glasses. It showed that each of us is different and that we can react differently to foods we eat,” explained Airlie Pyke.
It is important for parents and children to make better food choices together – both at home and in the school lunchbox and to start conversations about healthy food choices.
“When we heard about The Root Cause - Mad Food Science Program from a Fahan Alumni we were excited about the opportunity. Many of the topics and concepts discussed in the program compliment our current work in classrooms. Our girls are interested and excited to learn about the science of food and they love the opportunity to experiment. Making healthy choices is something we often talk about and the incursion offered the chance to delve into the science a little deeper,” said Head of the Junior School, Mrs Amanda Evans.