The Flagship Foundation is the personification of Sugar Mountain's mission to help America eat better by providing better foods. Flagship Foundation teachers partner with 4th and 5th grade teachers to enter their classrooms and teach the students about basic nutrition, wholesome food, and healthier food choices, including selecting foods that are additive free. One of the reasons that I applied to Sugar Mountain was its determination as a company to affect the food industry while also showing that business can be done while doing our best to produce top quality products.
Foundation Director Kristin Hyde and Operations Manager Jonathan Saturay have taken the foundation to new levels with their creative and energetic instruction, program analysis, and integration with the food community both locally and nationally. The Foundation already enjoyed a firm position of respect and reputation, and under their guidance, it has grown and prospered. I hope its programs will become nationally recognized someday. They're always seeking opportunities to train teachers, build partnerships with more teachers and classrooms, and opportunities to collaborate with businesses that would like to support the educational programs. Contact Kristin (below article) to get involved!
Kids Who Become Food Detectives Turn Away from Processed Junk Food,
Get Inspired to Cook
Ripple Affect is Getting Teachers and Parents to Make Healthier Food Choices
Seattle, WA – Kids love the Beecher’s Flagship Foundation Pure Food Kids workshop – we know from their smiles and cheers while they eat the wholesome chili they make in the classroom, and the pride they take outsmarting food companies marketing tactics to expose what’s really in the cereals, chips, yogurts, and beverages they investigate during the workshop. We also know students learn key nutrition and food facts from the results of pre and post-workshop quizzes they take.
What’s new is survey data that shows this 2 ½ hour workshop provided to 4th and 5th grade students around Puget Sound, and in a handful of classrooms in New York City, is having a long term positive impact on kids and their families’ attitudes and food choices. It’s also having an impact on teachers in the classrooms.
Here are some highlights from surveys of teachers who have had the Pure Food Kids workshop in their classrooms and from parents of middle school age students (grade 6-8) whose children participated in the workshop when they were in 4th grade:
· 91% of teachers found the workshop “personally informative,” with 63% reporting that it has influenced the way they eat;
· 54% of teachers said they read labels more than they used to, with 69% reporting they limit how much they eat food with ingredients they don’t recognize;
· 85% of teachers report an elevated awareness of food additives in processed foods, with 84% saying the information they learned about food additives concerns them enough to avoid foods with artificial sweeteners, preservatives and colors; and 93% checking ingredient lists to avoid trans fats or hydrogenated oils;
· 83% of teachers have shared what they learned in the workshop with friends or family, and 80% have been inspired to cook at home after the workshop;
· 65% of parents were aware their students participated in the workshop 2-4 years ago, with 70% recalling their child talking about learning what food companies say about their product isn’t always true, and 83% recalling their child learning how to read ingredient lists and to watch out for unhealthy additives;
· 79% of parents report their child reading labels or urging them to do so while grocery shopping together;
· 60% of parents report their child expressed interest in avoiding particular processed foods as a result of learning more about what the product is really made of;
· 58% of parents say their family talks more about what’s in the foods they eat now than before their child participated in the workshop, and, 65% of parents reported their child expressed interest in cooking after participating in the workshop.
· Lending support to the push by Food Day and the Jamie Oliver Foundation to get food education into every classroom, 98% of parents in our survey felt there is a need for more nutrition education, food science and cooking skills to be offered in schools.
The fact that this generation of young people may be the first in modern history to not outlive their parents is a national tragedy. Obesity and diet-related diseases like diabetes shouldn’t be stealing children’s chance of success in school and life. Together with other initiatives like ours across the country, we can turn this public health crisis around.
To see results the surveys including specific comments from teachers and parents made in answer to open answer questions in the surveys conducted in January, please visit this link for PDF of survey results.
The Beecher’s Flagship Foundation is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) organization working to “Change the Way America Eats” through our programs to educate and empower people to make healthy food choices for life. Flagship Foundation operates a dynamic, commercial-free, no-cost, nutrition education and cooking program called Pure Food Kids Workshop for elementary school students that is supported by Beecher’s Handmade Cheese and sister companies which donate 1% of all sales to help fund the Foundation. Since 2006, the program has turned more than 60,000 kids (and their teachers) into food detectives, empowering them with information and skills to make healthy food choices for life. Our approach is to spark curiosity in students about what’s really in the food they are eating, providing a chance for hands-on investigations of products, and skills for how to understand nutrition labels and ingredient lists. Our workshop also teaches kids to beware the marketing tactics food companies use to get people to buy their products. Best of all, kids get the opportunity to cook and enjoy a wholesome, delicious chili right in their classrooms.
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“Changing the Way America Eats”
Beecher’s Flagship Foundation-Pure Food Kids Workshop