“Is cinnamon a spice or a sweet?” asks a grade fiver. Another hand goes up: “Who’s gonna win My Kitchen Rules?”
When Pete Evans dons an apron at a school, eyes light up and students sit forward, showing more interest in chopping garlic and onions than they ever have.
The Australian Organic ambassador, with chef Monica Cannataci, worked with years five and six students at Ballarat’s Dellacombe Primary School earlier this month to cook up a delicious three course meal, starting with ‘Mighty meaty muffins’ and Thai chicken cakes, and finished off with chia seed puddings – all certified organic of course!
The cooking demonstration was part of the Australian Organic Schools initiative, one of Australia’s largest and most loved school garden programs. It has over 110,000 students involved and it’s specifically written for primary and middle school students (8–14 years of age).
Pete Evans is committed to helping children understand what makes up a healthy meal and where food comes from. After he demonstrated how to make each meal, the students broke into three groups to make one of the meals themselves.
Developed by education communication specialists Kids Media, the Australian Organic Schools website has been designed to engage teachers, students, canteen managers/volunteers and parents/carers, highlighting the benefits of healthy eating and growing food.
The program is also aligned with the Australian Curriculum.
ABC Gardening Australia’s Costa Georgiadis and wellness speaker Therese Kerr are also goodwill ambassadors for Australian Organic Schools. The program is freely available to schools, thanks to the support of Sunraysia Natural Beverage Company and Eco Alkalines™.