Online Food Literacy Resources for Children & Youth

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Author: Josie Di Felice

Posted: April 29, 2020

Categories: Edible Education Network / Good Food Ideas for Kids / GoodFoodBites / News from Sustain Ontario / Schools

During this unprecedented time of school closures, parents and teachers have had to quickly shift to navigating virtual at-home learning, and many educational organizations have begun retooling their programs to engage children and youth online through methods like virtual classrooms, online guides, webinar calls, social media, recorded videos, streaming parties and more.

Last week our Ontario Edible Education Network hosted a webinar that explored these opportunities for virtual food literacy education. Speakers on the webinar shared how they’ve been pivoting to this new reality: Rav Singh and Merissa Nudelman from Ecosource; Derek Brez, a teacher at Sir Guy Carleton Secondary School; Anne Munier from Loving Spoonful; Danielle Findlay from OSNP Windsor-Essex; and Brooke Ziebell from FoodShare Toronto.

Below you’ll find ideas and links to resources and activities that our presenters and participants shared during the webinar. *The time beside each speaker is where their presentation begins in the webinar recording.*

Ecosource – 00:02:27

Ecosource shared their Grown in Mississauga Training Manual, which can be used by teachers to assign different sections; as well as their youth-focused Plug in to Grow Podcast, which explores the stories, people and drivers that are shaping local food, urban agriculture and sustainability in the Region of Peel.

Over the last month, Ecosource has launched some weekly online activities to support families during this time: on Mondays & Fridays they host cooking challenges, recipe shares and skill demos; on Tuesdays, gardening activities on social media; and on Thursdays, they host an online garden club. In addition, Ecosource is hosting farm-related Netflix screening parties, they’re continuing their peer-to-peer learning online with youth volunteers, and they’re also looking to do more educator-parent learning via online webinars. Visit the Ecosource website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages for more on these opportunities.

Sir Guy Carleton Secondary School – 00:11:00

If you’ve read about Sir Guy Carleton Secondary School before, you know they’re big champions of farm to school and hands-on food education. With their in-school programming currently on hold, Derek Brez is now using Google Classroom to connect with his students. He posts weekly food project challenges for his students at home, which often encourage them to repurpose items they can find around the house. Many of his students are gardening at home in a variety of capacities (in the backyard, container gardening, growing seedlings in egg cartons), and sending pictures in as assignments. Another recent challenge asked the students to prepare a healthy meal at home and document it. Check out Derek’s webinar slides for some inspiring pictures of his students’ learning journey.

Loving Spoonful — 00:16:10

Loving Spoonful has been busy working to move their GROW project online through virtual workshops and e-learning modules. They plan to offer videos, informational resources, and activities surrounding growing food, seeds, pollination, climate change and more. These resources will be shared on their website and available for everyone, not just teachers of participating GROW classes.

In the meantime, check out their Gardening for Good Resources here.

OSNP Windsor-Essex — 00:23:13

OSNP Windsor-Essex has reallocated its student nutrition program funding to distribute emergency food boxes and gift cards to local families, and they are including food literacy resources in some of these packages. Resources include information sheets on local produce, local farmer profiles, recipes, food literacy activities and other healthy-food resources, handouts, cooking tips and recipes. They’ve also provided some vegetable garden starter growing kits to some families.

Danielle Findlay, our webinar speaker, pointed to a few other resources that they have been sharing, including:

FoodShare Toronto — 00:29:05

FoodShare Toronto has plenty of resources and lesson plans for every age that are available to download right now on their website. The “You Built It” series has some fun hands-on activities that can be done by upcycling materials from around the house.

You can also click on their two infographics below for some great growing tips.


Brooke Ziebell pointed to some other activities and ideas, including:

In the conversation portion of the webinar, some more great resources & activities were shared:

We hope this excitement surrounding food education keeps growing into the future, and the numerous resources already out there can certainly help boost this momentum! You can find these resources and others on the Ontario Education Network webpage, Food Literacy and Food-Based Experiential Learning Resources in a time of COVID-19. If you have any to share, tag us on the Ontario Edible Education Network Twitter and/or Facebook.