Thursday, July 19, 2012

start 'em young

Developing a love of nutritious food at a young age goes a long way to setting people up (hopefully) for a lifetime of health and happiness. With rates of childhood obesity and diabetes sadly on the rise there is much to be done to put children and their parents on a positive path when it comes to eating well. Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution has inspired more children to eat well than any food pyramid ever will, and Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Foundation is taking children back to the source teaching them that real food comes from the earth not from packets. I think independent, innovative programs like these are fantastic because they engage children in a meaningful way and that is the true way to make a difference.

So, when a newsletter from my old friends at The Pantry in Church Street Brighton arrived in my inbox I read with interest that they have started a program called 'Pantry Garden Kitchen'.

I worked at The Pantry on and off for almost ten years, starting when I was 19 (where did that time go?!). The Pantry has grown from a bustling corner cafe into an award winning restaurant. Families with young children have always been a big part of their regular clientele and now that the owners and managers have young children it made sense to start a program that inspired children to eat well.

The Pantry's General Manager Tim Purton-Smith says, "The program is in its infancy but we are really excited about its potential. We are looking at ways to make teaching kids about healthy food the most appealing it can be, making it fun. We had a great morning at a local primary school recently with the take home message for the kids being they need to be eating twice as many vegetables as they are now. The feedback from parents and staff has been really positive. The kids had fun and are asking to eat more vegies!"

If you live in Melbourne and are interested in having The Pantry visit your school give Tim a call on 9591 0393.

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