Food lessons helping to keep kids calm

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Self-sufficient . . . Tending to the family vegetable garden in Sawyers Bay, Dunedin, are (from left) Laura Green, Harley Quinn (2), Dallas More (8), Indy More (7) and Georgia More (10). PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH

A national food education charity is providing online lessons designed not only to educate young people about growing and cooking their own food, but also to look positively into the future, beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Garden to Table Trust module takes children through a virtual Anzac Day journey via their kitchen and garden, explaining the history behind the “Dig for Victory” and “Grow a Row” vegetable traditions that originated during World War 2.

Garden to Table executive officer Linda Taylor said the downloadable resource also included a recipe for “See in the Dark Anzac Biscuits”.

“Anzac Day traditions such as these are examples of how our country has previously managed to pull together in the face of adversity, and we can do it again.

“We would love to see families all over the country getting out into the garden to grow a row of vegetables, or making Anzac biscuits with rosemary, poppy seeds and carrots.”

Sawyers Bay mother of four Laura Green said the education resource was giving her children peace of mind.

“My kids are really relaxed because they know we’ve got pears and apples on the trees and loads of vegetables in the garden.

“They know they’re not going to go hungry. We’ve got everything we need.

“And they take a certain amount of pleasure out of eating something they’ve helped grow.”

She said the only downside for them was having to help with the weeding.

Mrs Taylor said the lessons included the history behind the World War 2 vegetable-growing campaigns, why rosemary was used for remembrance poppies at Anzac Day, and the roots of the belief that carrots are good for our eyesight.

The resource was supplemented with photos from the Alexander Turnbull Library and the Imperial War Museum, and it linked with primary curriculum objectives and offered a range of at-home learning activities that children could complete independently.

“Children can examine images of a ration book and make a link between the limits on food in supermarkets today with the rationing that occurred during the war.

“Old photographs of queues outside grocery stores remind us of queues outside the supermarket today, for example.

“It’s a great opportunity to provide some context for the current situation for our children, while also recognising the importance of Anzac Day.”

Otago Daily Times