Our "Seed to Plate" program focuses on the values of sustainability, using nature as a resource, and nurturing nature to introduce children to the entire cycle of food. Whilst increasing nutritional awareness and skills that will serve them for a lifetime and empower them to make healthy food options and care for the environment. Gardening with children is an activity that is best run when contextualized in terms of the child's lived experience. For example, showing children the complete production cycle from planting to growing to harvesting to eating will create a more profound respect for the process. Having centre gardens and on-site cooks means that the mini-farmers' hard work can come to fruition in the form of a nutritious meal they can take pride in. This sense of ownership leads to the development of autonomy and resilience - vital skills children need to spread their wings once they leave our service.
Interdisciplinary lessons in this living laboratory will encourage children to become active participants in the learning process. Educational benefits of children's active involvement in growing their own food and tending to the gardens where they grow have been well-documented by researchers and include:
Increasing positive attitudes towards fresh fruits and vegetables and towards nature and the environment
Improving knowledge of nutrition concepts
The roles of our Chefs
Our Campus Chefs work in partnership with our Campus Director, Educational Leader, and Room Leaders to map out seasonal activities, garden planting and maintenance, and create garden classes that will maximise opportunities to reinforce literacy, numeracy, science, and cross-curricular priorities environmental sustainability, and so much more.
Our Seed to Plate program is an integral part of daily life at Eco. It is a fun, hands-on approach to teaching children of all ages about growing, harvesting, preparing and sharing fresh, seasonal, delicious food.
We also encourage our chefs to engage and inspire our families and our community’s passion for fresh ingredients and locally grown products used in the centre. A whole team approach is necessary for promoting healthy eating and nutrition, and all of our Educators work in partnership to ensure the success of our program.
If everyone participates, children are more likely to concentrate better and engage in meaningful learning experiences, as well as:
Learn healthy eating habits.
Make healthy and nutritional choices.
Have positive body images of themselves.
At Young Explorers, we believe that children should be trusted to make choices that benefit their individual needs. The Reggio Emilia approach views children as citizens of the world and therefore capable and confident in making independent decisions.
Mealtime gives children freedom of choice as they move between play and daily transition.
Our team works with all children to ensure all health and medical needs are maintained.