Food for All – Program Overview

Food for All is The Cookbook Project’s high school education program. This program has been tailored for youth participants in grades 9 – 12, which corresponds to ages 14 – 18. Overall, the program focuses on giving young people an opportunity to look at food at a structural level, with a concern for food policy, the food system, and the powers who influence it: producers, businesses, and consumers.

The curriculum has been inspired by a belief in the strong power of our role as consumers.  There is a strong focus on the importance around understanding how the food system is broken and our role in fixing it. Participants learn advanced cooking skills, work in groups on multimedia food studies projects, and become aware of the truth behind the food that we eat. Food for All focuses on food justice, and empowers participants to be advocates and leaders for creating a more sustainable food system.

Learning Objectives

Through the Food for All program, participants will be able to do the following:

  • Identify ‘real’ versus ‘fake’ ingredients and ‘whole’ versus ‘processed’ foods.
  • Effectively read labels for nutrition content and ingredient quality.
  • Use critical thinking skills to determine the best breakfast to have, based a variety of factors and how to prepare that breakfast.
  • Explain how policy influences the food system and the consumer’s role in influencing those policies.
  • Explore the impact of food marketing on individuals’ choices.
  • Examine how companies market their products and whether food marketing should be regulated.
  • Understand the definition of ‘food desert’ and the obstacles and solutions for more equitable access to healthy foods.
  • Identify healthy substitutions for the major food categories and create healthier recipes based on this new knowledge.
  • Understand the basics of food budgeting and meal planning.
  • Use critical thinking skills to choose ingredients based on health, environment, and budget.
  • Understand the external costs associated with subsidized foods.
  • Identify common kitchen ingredients that can be used to support better health.
  • Identify the biological and nutritional background of edible mushrooms and the basic method to growing them.
  • Understand the biological process, the history, and the nutritional benefits associated with naturally fermented foods.

Session Structure

Component Time Summary
Opening Circle 5 minutes Opening activity or interactive question and answer / discussion. After day one, this will generally tie back in to the previous call to action activity.
Introduction 10 minutes Teacher will set the stage for the content with a question or example.
Content 40 minutes Main content or activity for the session.
Call to action 5 minutes Specific and measurable action items for students to ‘take home’ and consider until the next session.

Session Content

Sessions Content
1 Healthy Breakfasts Develop critical thinking skills and label literacy in the context of understanding what a healthy breakfast can be.
2 Healthy Substitutions Learn about processed foods and ingredients for healthy substitutions.
3 First Things First Prepare different examples of healthy breakfast using healthy substitutions.
4 Food Rules Learn about food policy and how it shapes our food system.
5 Advertising, Labeling, and Marketing Understand how food companies advertise their food and gain critical label literacy skills.
6 Homemade Value Meal Learn how to prepare staple ingredients and budget out meals to make delicious food on a budget.
7 Food Maps Understand the concept of food access and how the food environment impacts individual food choices.
8 Packaged vs. Home Cooked Prepare the homemade version of foods that people commonly buy pre-prepared or frozen.
9 Group Project Work Period Time for participants to work on their group projects
10 Food as Medicine Learn about the medicinal aspects of common foods, the benefits of lacto-fermented foods, and prepare an herbal tea and pickles.
11 Group Project Work Period Time for participants to work on their group projects.
12 Don’t Waste your Waste Learn about food waste and how to prevent it. Prepare two ‘leftovers’ recipes using common leftover vegetables and grains.
13 The Weekly Game Plan Practice meal planning and preparing staple ingredients in advance for use during the week.
14 Final Presentations Groups present their final projects.
15 Closing Ceremony & Certificates Give out the post-test and celebrate the culmination of the program with certificates.