Planning to cook

When planning to cook, it is important to select the most suitable ingredients, equipment and food skills for successful results.

Planning to cook

Activity 1 - There is a vast range of ingredients used around the world.

Set up a sensory tray for the children. Have the following foods (or similar) on a tray:

  • lemongrass;
  • root ginger;
  • fresh basil;
  • lime;
  • fresh coriander.

Allow the children to touch and/or smell each food. Question the children:

  • What is this called?
  • Who has tasted this before?
  • How is this food used in cooking?

If you do not have the ingredients, use the Fruit Cards or Vegetable cards to aid discussion about different food.

You could set up a tasting session, perhaps tasting different varieties of the same food, e.g. bread, cheese, fruit. Send home the Ingredient check letter before the session. Support for carrying out a tasting session can be found in the Tasting guide.

Extend the activity by asking:

  • Who can name an ingredient they think is interesting?
  • Where does it come from?
  • How is it prepared?
  • How does it taste?
  • How might you eat it?

Gather the responses on the board. Use the New food presentation to help facilitate discussion about interesting food.

Give the children a selection of food categories, e.g. bread, cheese, fruit, vegetables, fish, meat. Task them find examples of food for this category that they have not tried before and information about the food. They can choose the food they find most interesting and record this on the New food worksheet.

Activity 2 - Diets around the world are based on similar food groups.

Use the World diets presentation to look at the types of food eaten by different people around the world that make up their diet.

Ask the children:

  • What types of food are eaten?
  • Can you identify any similarities?
  • Can you group the food?

Remind the children about the Eatwell Guide. Display the World food cards and explain to the children that they will look at each meal and write the names of the food in the correct group on the Blank Eatwell Guide worksheet.

Children should be able to explain that although there are many different types/varieties of food, they all come from basic food groups. For example, most diets in the world comprise:

  • Fruit and vegetables;
  • Potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy carbohydrates, e.g. yam, plantain, couscous (sometimes these are known as staple foods, forming the bulk of the diet);
  • Dairy and alternatives;
  • Bean, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins.

Although there is lots of different food, diets around the world are based on similar food groups to help people to stay healthy.


Activity 3 - Food is prepared in different ways due to a number of factors, including country, culture, custom and religion.

Talk to the children about how food is prepared around the world. Discuss how people from different countries and cultures prepare, cook and eat food in a variety of ways.

Use the World food presentation, show children how food is prepared, cooked and eaten differently in a variety of countries.

  • What type of food is being prepared?
  • What equipment are they using?
  • How is the food being cooked?
  • How is the food eaten?

Working in pairs or small groups, task the children to choose a country they are not familiar with on the world map and find out how a typical dish from the country is prepared, i.e. ingredients, equipment and techniques used to make the dish. If you prefer to allocate children a dish to research, here are some suggestions:

  • Pierogi
  • Steamed buns
  • Baked Alaska
  • Naan bread
  • Sushi

Further activities

  • Present the work about food around the world as a classroom or school display. Set up a display of photographs, non-perishable ingredients and cooking equipment.
  • Invite speakers, parents/carers and local organisations to talk about, and perhaps cook, different foods from around the world.
  • Organise further tasting and cooking sessions to investigate different types of food.
multi-yr
Fruit cards

A set of cards showing photographs of fruit.

docx
multi-yr
Vegetable cards

A set of cards showing photographs of vegetables.

docx
multi-yr
Ingredient check letter

A template letter to send home about pupils handling and/or eating different ingredients.

docx
multi-yr
Tasting guide

A guide to support running a food tasting session.

docx
7 - 11 YR
New food

A presentation introducing a range of food.

pptx
7 - 11 YR
New food worksheet

A worksheet to describe a new food.

docx
7 - 11 YR
World diets

A presentation introducing diets around the world.

pptx
7 - 11 YR
World food

A presentation introducing food around the world.

pptx
7 - 11 YR
Blank Eatwell Guide

A blank version of the Eatwell Guide.

pdf
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