STEPHANIE ALEXANDER KITCHEN GARDEN PROGRAM

A food philosophy that makes sense. Stephanie Alexander has a vision that pleasurable food education is accessible to every Australian school with a primary curriculum. The not-for-profit Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation takes a revolutionary approach to food education focusing on pleasure, flavour and fun via the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program. The recipe for effective food education:

  • Encourage fun, flavour and texture through experiences that engage all the senses.
  • Model good food choices without resorting to pyramids or labels of ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy’.
  • Dishes cooked reflect the vegetables, herbs and fruits grown, season-by-season, by the children in their organic gardens, and also reflect the Australian Dietary Guidelines.
  • Reinforce techniques repeatedly, providing the confidence to plant seeds or cook simple dishes at home.
  • Plan menus around the fresh, seasonal produce growing in the garden.
  • Kitchen educators emphasise balance and moderation, and endorse the concept of preparing fruit-based desserts ‘sometimes-only’.
  • Use ingredients at their peak – seasonal herbs, crisp veggies, fresh fruits.
  • Expand culinary horizons, presenting cultural differences as fascinating rather than strange.
  • Expand vocabularies for describing foods, flavours, textures, plants and processes.
  • Food should be delicious and the cooking of fresh fruit and vegetables should be timed with great care.
  • Come together at the end of the cooking to share our meal around the table

Pleasurable food education:

  • Delivers observable social benefits to all children, including those with special needs.
  • Encourages critical thinking, teamwork, an understanding of cause and effect, and increased levels of observation.
  • Is designed to be fully integrated into the curriculum or learning framework as it offers infinite possibilities to reinforce literacy, numeracy, science, cultural studies and all aspects of environmental sustainability.

The fundamental philosophy that underpins the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program is that by setting good examples and engaging children’s curiosity, as well as their energy and their taste buds, we can provide positive and memorable food experiences that will form the basis of positive lifelong eating habits.

SAKGP at Viewbank

Viewbank Primary delivers regular kitchen and garden classes to our Year 3 and 4 students, enabling skills-based learning that extends across the entire school curriculum. Teachers are provided with comprehensive training and resources to deliver the Kitchen Garden Program with the help of volunteers. As participants in the Kitchen Garden Program, children spend structured time in a productive veggie garden and home-style kitchen, as part of their everyday school experience. There they learn skills that will last them a lifetime and discover just how much fun it is to grow and cook their own seasonal vegetables and fruits. The kitchen and garden classes run on an alternating timetable each week to ensure that each class gets one kitchen class (90 minutes) and one garden class (45 minutes) per fortnight.

Garden

Week 1

Week 2

Monday YEAR 4
2 – 2.45pm
(45 minutes)
4N 4L
Monday YEAR 4
2.45 – 3.30pm
(45 minutes)
4F 4S
Wednesday YEAR 3
9.15 – 10am
(45 minutes)
3B 3W
Wednesday YEAR 3
10.05 – 10.55am
(45 minutes)
3E 3G
Wednesday YEAR 3
11.30 – 12.15pm
(45 minutes)
3M

Kitchen

Week 1

Week 2

Tuesday YEAR 4
11.30 — 1.00pm
(90 minutes)
4L 4N
Tuesday YEAR 4
2.00 – 3.30pm
(90 minutes)
4S 4F
Wednesday YEAR 3
9.30 — 11.00am
(90 minutes)
3E
Wednesday YEAR 3
11.30 — 1.00pm
(90 minutes)
3G 3M
Wednesday YEAR 3
2.00 – 3.30pm
(90 minutes)
3B 3W

We are always looking for volunteers; all adults in our community are welcome to come. You do not need to have a child in year 3 or 4 to volunteer*. If you could help out at any of the sessions outlined above please see:

  • Ms Sita Fatchen and Ms Marina Bandouvakis (Program Organisers – Classroom teacher of 4F and 3G)
  • Glenda Timmins (Garden leader)
  • Chris Andreuo (Kitchen Leader)

*A free Volunteer Working with Children Check is required which can be organised through your local post office or online.