Experiential learning is a fun and effective way to teach nutrition in the classroom. A systematic review published this year looked at 49 studies reporting on the effectiveness of different teaching strategies related to healthy eating. This review concluded that experiential strategies were the most effective in increasing primary students’ nutrition knowledge. When trying to increase students’ intake of and preference for fruits and vegetables, approaches including school and community gardens, cooking, and food preparation were effective.
This is great news! However, teacher funds to support bringing food into the classroom are very limited. Teachers often end up spending their own money on foods and supplies. In light of this, we have identified two classroom-based initiatives that teachers can apply for to help support their nutrition education endeavors and incorporate more experiential learning in the classroom!
Would you like to use food in your classroom to inspire your students to be healthier eaters? If you have taken a BC Dairy workshop, enhance your teaching – apply for a mini food grant! If you haven’t taken a workshop with one of BC Dairy’s nutrition educators, book one now (email firstname.lastname@example.org). The BC Dairy programs encourage experiential learning and provide many excellent ideas!
Although many teachers would be enthusiastic to use a vegetable garden as a teaching tool for science, social studies, language arts, and healthy living, working with in-ground school gardens can be a daunting task! As a solution, BCAITC has developed a program called Spuds in Tubs - Potato Tub Gardens for Schools Across BC.
Do you have other ideas for experiential learning in the classroom? Share them with us in the comments section below!