Four ways to celebrate World Food Day with children

Celebrate World Food Day this month by helping children understand more about food - as COVID-19 threatens food security in many parts of the globe.

This year’s theme for World Food Day is Grow, Nourish, Sustain, Together. The date commemorates the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organisation by the United Nations in 1945.

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Activities at home can help your children to see how a sustainable supply of food relates to their own lives and their local area, as well as further away places.

Here are four suggested ways to celebrate World Food Day 2020.

1 Discover fascinating food facts

Eight hundred million people around the world suffer from hunger.In parts of the world where hunger is a big issue, life expectancy is shorter, infant mortality is higher, and productivity is lower.

Around the same number of people around the world suffer from obesity due to unhealthy diets, and obesity kills more people than hunger does.

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Inefficient, unsustainable food systems harm ecosystems and contribute to global warming. Changing the way we produce food is key to tackling climate change.

As the climate changes, we will have to change the way we produce food: new food sources will have to be found.In developed countries, tackling obesity would save hundreds of billions of pounds in healthcare costs.In countries where hunger is an issue, eliminating hunger would dramatically increase productivity and nationalwealth.

2 Make it meaningful

Food security and food poverty are big issues in the UK too. It’s a good time to talk about food banks, free school meals and the importance of eating nourishing food for health, happiness and for effective learning.Food security means having access to adequate supplies of food to live healthily.

To have this, people must have enough money to buy food, food must be affordably-priced, there must be reliable supply chains for food, there must be enough reserves of food.

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The food available must be nutritious, so those who consume it can lead active, healthy livesEffective, sustainable food systems affordably provide an adequate amount of food to meet demand while also supporting the ecosystems they rely on to produce food.

A good example is the new greenhouse system in Norfolk and Suffolk, set to produce 10 per cent of UK tomatoes. The greenhouses will be heated by warm water pumped from nearby water treatment plants, producing far lower carbon emissions than traditional growing methods. It reduces food miles and establishes a more reliable supply of food locally.

3 Link it to your local community

Church of England schools traditionally celebrate harvest festival by collecting food items for the elderly and vulnerable in their community.To help people in your community, find out where your nearest food bank is and how to lend support. Many will list the items they are most in need of each week on their website.

4 Make healthy, nutritious food together

Talk ‘around’ recipes you choose to follow; for example, you might try to find out about the food journey of one or more of the ingredients.Find out more about World Food Day 2020 by using hashtags #WorldFoodDay and #FoodHeroes on social media. To add to the ideas listed above by Oli Ryan of PlanBee, check out PlanBee’s World Food Day collection on their website.