Promoting food literacy in primary school classrooms through the HealthLit4Kids Program in Australia
Kelly, RK and Peralta, L and Nash, R, Promoting food literacy in primary school classrooms through the HealthLit4Kids Program in Australia, Health Promotion International, 37, (6) pp. 1-10. ISSN 1460-2245 (2022) [Refereed Article]
Food literacy (FL) refers to the knowledge, skills, and behaviours associated with healthy eating. Schools are recognised as an important setting for FL promotion during childhood. HealthLit4Kids is an Australian primary school intervention that engages students, families, and educators to promote health literacy. This study aimed to assess the promotion of FL, a subtype of health literacy, in primary school classrooms across five schools. Teachers planned and implemented classroom activities over a 12-month period. Researchers examined lesson plans created by teachers and 'artefacts' (e.g. drawings, models) created by students during activities. Most classroom activities considered the nutritional knowledge and interpersonal communication skills associated with healthy eating, whereas fewer activities addressed students' ability to critically analyse and apply information relating to food. The FL themes considered most frequently in classroom activities were 'food and health choices', 'knowledge', and 'skills and behaviour'. Whereas the FL themes considered less frequently were 'food systems', 'emotion', and 'culture'. The delivery of classroom activities was supported by the integration of other curriculum areas (e.g. The Arts and English). Future studies are required to understand how school-based interventions can promote the areas of FL that were less frequently addressed in this intervention in the classroom and beyond.
nutrition, health literacy, health promoting schools, community capacity building