Tesco Happy Eat programme

STO looks at school trips to teach pupils about nutrition and food provenance. 

In April Berkeley University in the USA published the findings of a major new study into how the healthiness of a school lunch could affect academic performance, as measured by test scores. 

The report concluded that students at schools that contracted with a healthier school lunch vendor performed better on state tests than those at schools serviced by a less healthy lunch supplier.

The research is just the latest in a string of studies that show how important it is for children to eat healthily. 

Of course, teachers and educational experts understand this. That's why healthy eating forms a major part of the PHSE curriculum. 

Getting children on board with the idea isn't always easy though. 

With this in mind, STO looks at school trips that bring the concept of healthy eating to life. 

The Community Farm, Bristol

The Community Farm welcomes Primary, Secondary and pre-school groups. The farm offers Field to Fork learning experiences where children get the opportunity to explore where their food comes from, how it is grown, and gives them the chance to get their hands dirty harvesting their own vegetables in order to prepare a seasonal snack. Children also get chance to learn about the wildlife habitats on the farm in order to understand how certain creatures help the farm to grow food organically.

Baileys Catering, Worcestershire

Baileys Catering is a gold standard Food for Life provider that supplies healthy school meals to schools around Worcestershire, Warwick and the West Midlands. Its in-house nutritionist and development chef also work with schools to educate children about healthy eating. The company can arrange school trips to its local polytunnels and the farms that it sources its ingredients from, so that children can learn about healthy eating and the provenance of their food. Post-trip cookery demos can also be arranged to take place in schools. 

Over Farm, Gloucestershire

Over Farm is a working fruit and vegetable farm in Gloucester with a dedicated classroom space. It welcomes visits from schools with pupils aged from pre-school to Year 7. During trips to the farm, children will learn about where food comes from, food production and farming, healthy eating, sustainability topics like food miles, and wildlife and conservation. Trips can be tailored to incorporate additional areas of the curriculum. Most visits give pupils the opportunity to pick and taste crops, ask the farmer questions, and take a tractor ride. 

Tesco Happy Eat, nationwide

Under the umbrella of the Happy Eat Project, Tesco runs free Farm to Fork-inspired visits to its stores and offers a range of free online teaching resources. The goal is to help children build a happier and healthier relationship with food. There are four in-store Farm to Fork trails to choose from. The Healthy Eating Trail teaches pupils about fruit and vegetables, the concept of five a day, and the origins of sugar and its nutritional value. The new Food for Fuel Trail, meanwhile, teaches pupils about the foods they need to consume to do sports. They'll learn about the global nature of sport and investigate unusual products from sporting nations – for example tropical fruits from Brazil. Sustainability and Explore the Store trails are other options.