We believe that food education is a key component of successful Food Is Medicine programs.
Students in the FRESHFARM FoodPrints program unearth fresh carrots and sweet potatoes from the soil in their school garden – and are taught and trusted to safely use kitchen tools to cook and eat them together with friends in their school’s teaching kitchen. Memories and skills from this program endure, according to research published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. This research found three lasting impacts of the FoodPrints program: appreciation for fresh food, an openness to trying new foods, and confidence to make informed food decisions.
Prescribing healthy food to manage chronic conditions is powerful as a Food is Medicine strategy – but it only works if we provide the positive exposure to nutritious food that makes us receptive to purchasing and eating those foods.
While right now we just work with elementary schools in Washington, DC, with funding and support, this model can work in schools across the country. Reach out if you want to visit one of our classrooms, to learn more, or to explore a funding partnership.
Learn more about our model and resources:
- FoodPrints PreK-5th grade experiential food education curriculum tied to national Common Core and Next Generation Science standards
- FoodPrints TV full of connected food and garden education videos connected to our lessons
- The FoodPrints approach to food education nurtures a sense of curiosity and excitement around fruits and vegetables
- Our food education model and results
- Highlights of our program in action and testimonials from stakeholders in our recent blog posts
Take a virtual trip to see the FRESHFARM FoodPrints food education model in Washington, DC, centered in teaching kitchens and gardens in elementary schools:
Watkins Elementary was the site of the first FoodPrints teaching kitchen in 2011. As of 2024, seven full-scale teaching kitchens have been built as part of school modernizations among the 21 FoodPrints partner schools. In 2022, officials from Health & Human Services and US Department of Agriculture visited the FoodPrints program at Watkins to highlight it as a national model for food education.Journey to full-scale, community-supported teaching kitchens in FoodPrints partner schools
Marie Reed Elementary
Marie Reed, a bilingual school in Ward 4, features a teaching kitchen classroom.
Francis Stevens School Without Walls
As a the school is being modernized, the 'swing space' at Francis Stevens was outfitted with a large room converted into a teaching kitchen.
CW Harris Elementary
Adjacent to the library and just steps from the school garden, this teaching kitchen is a large, accessible learning space at CW Harris.
School Within School
As part of the intentional redesign of the Reggio Emilia-focused School Within School elementary school, the most recent FoodPrints teaching kitchen opened in 2022.