World Food Day was created to celebrate the launch of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on 16th October in 1945. World Food Day is held to raise awareness of the suffering caused by hunger and obesity, of the importance of nutritious diets and food security, and of the need for more sustainable food systems. It is celebrated every year with a new theme, for example, “Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too”, “Social Protection and Agriculture: Breaking the Cycle of Rural Poverty” and “Feeding the world, caring for the earth”. The World Food Day 2019 theme was ‘Zero Hunger’, with the objective of actions to make sustainable and healthy diets affordable and available to all.
This year the theme is “Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together”. It is related to the need to support food heroes — farmers and workers throughout the food system — who are making sure that food makes its way from farm to fork even amid disruptions as unprecedented as the current COVID-19 crisis.
World Food Day is a great opportunity to get your young students thinking about food and how it can be sustainably sourced and responsibly consumed and distributed. Devote a lesson to food education, walk your young learners through the steps towards better nutrition and exercise. In this article, you will find some ideas and tasks for lessons with young learners.
Show any book with food on the cover and elicit the topic of the lesson. I like the book “Pete the Cat. Pete’s Big Lunch”.
We usually have a lesson on this book before World Food Day and learn food vocabulary. Here is the presentation I use.
Task 1 — Eat healthily
Go back to the book and discuss whether the main character eats healthily or unhealthily.
You can find a lot of worksheets on the Internet. If you work online use interactive liveworksheets.
Then ask students to complete the food pyramid and write the number of portions they should eat every day. You can also teach them more about protein, fat, carbohydrates.
Then students watch the video and check their guesses
Alternatively, you can teach students that it’s important to “eat the rainbow” – meaning you eat fruits and vegetables from each colour and get a variety of important vitamins and nutrients that can prevent disease.
It’s recommended that at mealtime, half of your plate is filled with fruits and vegetables. The goal is to have a rainbow on your plate! This nutrition tip is definitely the prettiest! Ask students to draw a rainbow and write as many fruit and vegetables to the corresponding colours as possible.
Task 2 — Where does food come from
We all eat food every day, but we are missing quality information about where that food actually comes from. Do your students know that cake is actually made from food that comes from plants? Ask children to research food and find out as many sources as possible.
Option 1. Create a lapbook with different sources of food. You can find lapbook templates here.
Option 4. Have a longer session on this topic using this lesson plan that helps students understand that most of the food we eat comes from farms.
Task 3 — Zero waste
Ask your students to brainstorm how they might cut down on food that gets thrown out and how minimizing waste can help other people and the environment.
Task 4 — Poster contest
Work with your students to create posters that illustrate their visions of #ZeroHunger. Scan or photograph the posters and submit them to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization World Food Day poster contest.
Find more ideas on World Food Day here.