Better health For London's children

Photo:Garden Organic

The Better Health for London report (2013) rested on the belief that this city – its people, its institutions, and its political, economic and cultural leaders – have an obligation to help and support one another to achieve better health.

Its message was simple: ours can be the healthiest major global city. By working together, we can achieve better health for all Londoners.

Better Health for London: One Year On (March 2015), published by the London Health Commission, has 10 key health aspirations for London including: to give all London's children a healthy, happy start to life (p8).

Healthy Patterns for Healthy Families: removing the hurdles to a healthy family

A report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood (October 2014). The report urges the incoming Government to appoint a Minister for Children to drive the policy and co-ordinate strategy across all departments. The following policy recommendations, related to food growing, are proposed:

Nutrition and the school environment  - page 19

  1. Government to develop a cross-Departmental strategy co-ordinated by a Minister for Children at Cabinet level with the power of audit.
  2. A free, national, mandatory healthy schools programme including appropriate staff training to embed healthy eating, physical activity and body image education into the curriculum and to make sustainable changes to school food on a ‘whole school’ approach, with a possible starting point being The European Food Framework and its new subject specifications which outlines core skills for diet, active lifestyles and energy balance.
  3. Parents and pupils to be encouraged to collaborate with head teachers and chairs of governors to ensure that a school’s policies and ethos promote child fitness and wellbeing. Family Liaison Workers to be based in school to support parents in devising home activities that encourage children to be more active, eat more nutritious foods and spend less time in screen-based pursuits.
  4. Extended schools and family learning to dovetail so that families and children can be educated together about food, nutrition, physical activity and health.
  5. New ‘cooking programmes’ within the school curriculum to combine nutritional education and elements from successful home economics syllabuses, rather than concentrating solely upon recipes.
Download Healthy Patterns for Healthy Families (plain text version).

Growing Our Future

The impact of growing food in schools as part of a broader food education programme.

This report highlights important evidence about the diverse range of benefits that food growing in schools offers and the worthwhile role growing activities play in a child’s educational experience. It is an evaluation of Food For Life Partnership's work with schools through the work of Garden Organic.

Five key impact areas explain the vital educational, personal and practical benefits that growing offers to pupils, teachers, parents and the wider school community:

  • Acquiring skills and knowledge
  • Understanding and appreciating the environment
  • Improving health and wellbeing
  • Encouraging positive values and behaviours
  • Increasing participation in school and the wider community

This report presents the findings of an evaluation conducted by the University of Bath’s Centre for Research in Education and the Environment.

Download Growing Our Future (pdf)