Foodwise Kids is a free program for elementary school classes that uses the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market as a classroom for teaching students to love vegetables and fruits through comparative tastings, exploring the market, and a hands-on cooking lesson. The program takes place during the school year and serves primarily low-income students.
Foodwise Kids field trips begin with a produce tasting that features fruits or vegetables likely to be unfamiliar to the students. The students are urged to be open-minded and not to “yuck” other people’s “yum.” The group discusses why farmers markets are special and learns about the California growing seasons. Then the children venture into the market in small groups with their chaperones to select produce for their cooking class, using tokens provided by CUESA. They complete a worksheet that encourages them to meet farmers and ask questions about where and how their food is grown.
Armed with produce and newfound knowledge, the children return to the kitchen to participate in a cooking class led by our Market Chef, Elianna Friedman. Chef Elianna discusses nutrition and sustainability and teaches the students basic cooking skills, such as how to properly use a knife and how to knead dough. The students prepare a dish together using the ingredients they purchased. At the end of the class, the students eat what they just cooked.
Since fall of 2012 (the program’s inaugural year), 1,126 children from 40 public elementary school classes participated in Foodwise Kids. Support Foodwise Kids »
Are you a teacher interested in bringing your class to a Foodwise Kids program?
Foodwise Kids programs take place on Thursdays from 10 AM to noon. To apply for a date, please contact CUESA’s Market Chef, Elianna Friedman, at email@example.com. In August we schedule trips for the whole year, and we maintain a waiting list in case of cancellations. Priority is given to San Francisco Unified School District schools with a high rate of eligibility for free and reduced-price lunch.
Photos courtesy of Bonnie Tse and her first-grade class at Gordon J. Lau Elementary School.
CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and its educational programs. Learn More »