YES! Recommends Nourish

Jing Fong | Yes! magazine | october 15, 2012


Want a wonderful resource that will get your students thinking about the story of the food they eat, and what they can do to make healthy choices available to them and their community?

Nourish is an education initiative that celebrates food and community. It encourages young people, families, and community to talk about food – its nutritional value (or not), who it supports – and how it sustains Earth, and us.

For teachers and students, Nourish offers a robust menu of media and learning resources that will capture your interest and inspire you to think more about the food that you eat and where it comes from.

Nourish Curriculum Guide

The Nourish Curriculum Guide, developed by the Center for Ecoliteracy, is a companion to the Nourish film and offers six lessons with accompanying activities, action projects, and more to open a meaningful conversation about food and sustainability. Lessons align with national curriculum standards and learning benchmarks. Themes include: The Story of Food; Seasonal, Local Food; Food Traditions; Food and Ecosystems; Analyzing Food Ads; and School Lunch Survey.

Please note that lessons may be used with or without the Nourish film. Though aimed at middle school, the curriculum can be adapted for both elementary and high school grades.

In keeping with our “healthy bodies” theme, the following lessons are of particular interest:

Nourish Activity 2Lesson Two: Seasonal, Local Food

For our health and the planet, there are many benefits to eating local and seasonal foods. What happens when eating local isn’t practical? In this lesson, students also will research and create a “seasonal circle” on what produce is available in their area. (see p. 26 of guide)



Nourish Activity 5Lesson 5: Analyzing Food Ads

Most food advertising is for highly processed or fast foods — have you ever seen a TV ad promoting quinoa? In this lesson, your students will become privy to the marketing techniques food companies use to get them to eat more and buy more. With this insight, your students will be able to look at these promotions with critical eyes and make more informed and healthy food choices. (see p.48 of guide)


Nourish Activity 6Lesson 6: School Lunch Survey

How is the food in your school cafeteria? Does it offer healthy alternatives, or is it all pizza, corn dogs, and chef’s surprise? In this lesson, students create a questionnaire asking their classmates about school lunches. After analyzing the data, they will make recommendations on how to improve their cafeteria’s offerings. (see p. 56 of guide)

DOWNLOAD the entire Nourish Curriculum Guide here

NOTE: To access the curriculum, you will need to register with Nourish. Sign-up is free, and please be assured that your email will not be shared.

Short films and discussion guide

Nourish Short Films DVD Cover

Use Nourish’s collection of 31 short films and video clips as a tool to jumpstart a discussion on food. From food guru Michael Pollan’s Food Chain to healthy food advocate Anna Lappée’s Hunger and Obesity to British chef Jamie Oliver’s Try Something New, you and your students will have plenty to talk about. These beautifully filmed videos–narrated by top-name foodies–can be searched by topic and narrator. The entire collection of 54 bite-sized films is available for purchase on DVD.

EXPLORE films here

After viewing any of these films, use the free, downloadable discussion guide to ask questions and dive into deeper dialogue with your students.

EXPLORE film guide here

Food systems tools

Three vivid infographics – downloadable in two poster sizes – use a systems thinking approach to cleverly explain the farm-to-table journey of food.

Nourish Food Systems Map


  • Food Systems Map presents farming, economic, social, and environmental aspects of our food system.
  • Local Food System compares and contrasts local and industrial food systems.
  • Seasonal Circle helps students understand seasonal food cycles and what fruits and vegetables are available in your local 150-mile radius.

DOWNLOAD Food Systems Tools here



Nourish Young Farm Worker

Welcome to the Food Revolution! These hard-to-resist How To lists give six powerful action ideas on a variety of topics, such as “Shop Wisely,” “Change the Menu,” and “Take a Stand.”

EXPLORE Be the Difference How To’s here




Additional resources

  • Nourish in Action
    Read stories on how teachers and their students use Nourish to create meaningful change around food.
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