The change in behaviour when we changed the food from processed to freshly prepared and organic was incredible! They’re much happier and more attentive.
Louise Rosen, headteacher
St John the Baptist School, Hackney
Good for children's health
"Analyses of student characteristics show statistically significant associations between healthy eating and FFLP related behaviours - such as participation in cooking and growing at school or at home; participation in farm and sustainable food learning; and attitudes to school food. This suggests that the FFLP model for changing behaviour has an empirical evidence base." Orne et al, 2011, p.107
- Pupils had healthier eating habits following their participation in FFLP, with a 28% increase in the proportion of primary school-age children reporting eating five portions of fruit or vegetables and the proportion reporting eating four or more portions increasing by 30% (Orme et al, 2011, p.114).
- "The findings show statistically significant associations between higher participation in cooking, growing, sustainable food education and farm-based activities – and positive healthy eating behaviours" (Orme et al, 2011, p.109).
- The Partnership's strong focus on community participation has also led to healthy behaviours travelling home, with 45% of parents reporting eating more fruit and vegetables as a result of FFLP and 43% changing their food buying habits (Orme et al, 2011, p.141).
- These findings fit with other studies which have shown that children involved in growing food, and those in schools with strong farm links, have higher fruit and vegetable consumption.
Emotional health and wellbeing
- "All of the schools commented on the contribution the FFLP made to helping them better plan, develop further and more effectively focus health-related activity … FFLP helped initiate, develop and maintain momentum on health related activity" (Teeman et al, 2011, p.28).
- FFLP promotes emotional health and wellbeing by giving children a positive lunch-time experience and more access to nature and active time outdoors via growing activities and farm visits. Research by the School Food Trust concluded that lunch time was the key period that governed whether or not a child felt 'happy' in school.
- Other research has highlighted the benefits of outdoor activities to children with behavioural difficulties: Faber Taylor et al (2001) found that such activities improved symptoms of ADHD by 30%. Further research suggests that contact with nature can help children who experience stress – lowering stress levels and increasing self worth.