Tickling kids’ tastebuds for learning

28th January 2021 | Eativity editors

To help Aussie kids explore food and its relationship to a good mood and positive mindset, Hort Innovation’s Phenomenom project has launched a free innovative toolkit for schools and families called The Good Mood Food Special.

The digital resources, with curriculum-aligned lesson plans across numeracy, literacy, humanities and health, will make it easy for teachers to engage kids in learning through videos, podcasts and activities, whether in the classroom or via remote learning.

“We’ve conducted research and found that four in five teachers use digital resources more than once a week and nine in 10 would like to see more food and nutrition teaching resources available,” says Hort Innovation General Manager Research and Development Dr Alison Anderson. “Which is why we’re launching The Good Mood Food Special.”

You can teach your kids to love healthy foods.

Phenomenom has been the result of years of research and development, from a team of more than 60 talented creatives and specialists.

“The Good Mood Food Special is a natural progression which considers the changing nature of schooling, giving parents and teachers resources to make teaching enjoyable while helping build better relationships with food,” says Phenomenom creator Alice Zaslavsky.

The resources will teach kids about how their mood can be impacted by food, and what else they can do to boost wellbeing, such as spending time in green spaces or gardening.

The Good Mood Food Special package includes:

• An animated video episode called a “webisode” (voiced by comedian Matt Okine and Little Lunch star Madison Lu) with a specially composed song to appeal to kids’ hearts and minds.

• Three animated “Nomcast” audio podcast episodes.

• Four PDF resources, including lesson plans designed for teachers to pick up and run with in the classroom or set for the remote learning environment.

• Posters, classroom prompt cards and quiz questions designed for the Kahoot platform.

• A Good Mood Moves wheel encourages teachers to provide regular classroom mood breaks, using movement in line with current research to help boost engagement. It features a specially designed interactive wheel that gamifies fruit and vegetables into exercises that children will benefit from doing regularly.

The Nomcast series teaches kids about growing and sharing food, flavour, nutrition and fun food facts.

“Contemporary research is highlighting how important it is to honour all of our kids’ feelings, not just the good ones” Zaslavsky says. “We’re trying to give them tools to learn to put themselves in a positive mindset, despite whatever obstacles might come their way.

“The program does this in a way that also provides teachers with lesson plans that support numeracy and literacy through curriculum-aligned activities, too.”

Hort Innovation Research and Development Manager and Accredited Practising Dietitian Jemma O’Hanlon explains that there is a strong body of evidence supporting whole foods for a good mood: “These resources will help teachers explain the science of good mood foods and the impact of green space on mood in a fun and engaging way,” she explains. “There is no better time to include more fruit, vegetables and nuts in our diet and enjoy our wonderful green spaces.”

The package, wheel and all resources are available for free online at Phenomenom.com.au