`Rome Journal: Teaching Kids About Healthy Eating - Olive Oil Times

Rome Journal: Teaching Kids About Healthy Eating

Dec. 4, 2014
Sarah Parker

Recent News

Farmhouse Il Podere

If you come to Italy, you are going to be eat­ing some good food. This has been a com­mon denom­i­na­tor for a while now. The rea­son isn’t due to the fact that Italy has a bet­ter cli­mate for grow­ing good food or that bet­ter food is avail­able here. It’s a ques­tion of edu­ca­tion — edu­ca­tion that has been instilled in chil­dren grow­ing up in Italy since the begin­ning.

The key to a healthy lifestyle lies in the edu­ca­tion of healthy eat­ing from a young age. This is some­thing that is passed down to chil­dren in an Italian fam­ily — it is part of their men­tal­ity.
See Also: Olive Oil Health Benefits
There are not as many pre-made frozen foods, and most fam­i­lies opt to cook from scratch using fresh ingre­di­ents and pre­fer­ring real foods to processed ones. Even in fam­i­lies with hec­tic sched­ules and restricted time, a fresh, home-cooked meal is a must here.

Italians live longer than most — on aver­age 83.1 years — com­pared to 79.8 for Americans and 79.5 for Brits. It’s the Mediterranean diet and the gen­eral atti­tude towards food in Italy that form the bet­ter gen­eral health of Italians, and their higher life expectancy.

The edu­ca­tional farm Il Podere’ in Umbria is one of the many places where healthy eat­ing habits starts young.

In the coun­try­side, in the Petrignano of Assisi, Umbria, sur­rounded by fields and hills that change color accord­ing to the sea­sons of the year, the farm offers courses to schools about the impor­tance of olive oil in our daily diet.

During September, October and November edu­ca­tional courses are offered to chil­dren from early years to high school.

A typ­i­cal day out for school chil­dren would be to see the olive grove and be taught the var­i­ous tech­niques of olive har­vest­ing, to the actual pro­duc­tion of the olive oil and, finally, tast­ing. The chil­dren are taught to rec­og­nize qual­ity olive oil using proper tast­ing tech­niques and how olive oil can be used as a health­ier alter­na­tive in the bak­ing of cakes, desserts and other foods.

The oil pro­duced at the farm is said to have a bright green color and an intense, but pleas­ant taste.

Further down the boot in Rome, Kids Enjoy Cooking,’ a newly opened cook­ery school that offers courses exclu­sively to chil­dren, com­bines the two impor­tant ingre­di­ents for a suc­cess­ful life accord­ing to the orga­niz­ers: the English lan­guage and the impor­tance of cook­ing from a young age.

Learning about healthy foods at Kids Enjoy Cooking in Rome

Silvia Valentina Del Bufalo decided to make her ambi­tion come true this year when she opened the school at her coun­try house in Cesano near Rome and, due to high enroll­ment requests, she will be open­ing a new site in another area in Rome.

Del Bufalo uses all home-grown ingre­di­ents from her veg­etable patch, her hen coop and, of course her beloved olive trees.

Olive oil is the essence of our Mediterranean diet and we try to incor­po­rate this ingre­di­ent in all of our lessons. Teaching the impor­tance of healthy eat­ing to chil­dren is some­thing every mother would like. Together with learn­ing English, it’s a per­fect com­bi­na­tion for Italian chil­dren.” Valentina said.

As times are chang­ing, fast food is becom­ing more widely avail­able and some­times inevitable. Italy has its own ways to help keep chil­dren on the right track to a bet­ter diet. Be it olive oil tast­ing or lessons on how to use it, edu­ca­tion will always be a fun­da­men­tal ingre­di­ent in the local diet.


Related News

Feedback / Suggestions