Wave 8 - food skills for life

Welcome to wave 8 - 54 food skills for life activities/resources to support remote learning at home. Select the activities that best suit your needs! They are divided into two: those that take less time and/or are less complex, and those that take more time and/or are more complex.

Here's a range of activities, each divided into less/more time and complexity. The focus is on food skills for life to help children and young people to develop their skills and knowledge around diet and health - healthy eating; diet and health - modifying recipes; consumer awareness - food choice; consumer awareness - food labels and food origins; cooking - food skills; cooking - recipes; food hygiene and safety; active lifestyles; food/cooking literacy and numeracy.

The activities and ideas are based on the Food route resources which were created to enable children and young people to engage with the Core competences for children and young people aged 5-16 years. The competences set out a progressive framework of skills and knowledge which comprise essential building blocks around the themes of diet and health, consumer awareness, cooking, food safety and active lifestyles for children and young people. These competences have been widely used, as they provide consistency and a focal point. Uses include an audit tool for teachers mapping out lessons, a guide for developers creating resources for schools and a framework to support curricular change and examination specifications. They can also be used for pupil peer and self-assessment.

The Food route resources comprise a teacher's guide, charts, worksheets, journals and certificates for children and young people aged 5-7 years, 7-11 years, 11-14 years and 14-16 years.


Diet and health - healthy eating

Less time / Less complex

1. Science: How much do you know about nutrients and their functions? Use the food route worksheet to test your knowledge and see if you can match the vitamins and minerals to their sources with our interactive matching exercise.

2. Literacy and geography: Find a fruit and/or vegetable for each letter of the alphabet and create a fruit and vegetable A-Z! Choose two from your list and find out where and how they are traditionally grown. (Here’s an example using a range of foods.)

 3. Health and wellbeing: What’s on your menu this week? Use the food route worksheet to compare a food diary for 3 days to the Eatwell Guide. You can use Explore Food to analyse your diet further.

More time / More complex

4. Art and health and wellbeing: Complete the 8 tips for healthy eating worksheet.

5. Literacy and health and wellbeing: Complete the diet and health food route journal which looks at nutritional needs throughout life, energy balance, eating well and nutrients.

6. Health and wellbeing and IT: How much fibre and free sugars is in different food? Complete the fibre and free sugars interactive line ups. If you don’t want to play the interactive quizzes, you can work through the fibre (answers) and free sugars (answers) activities.



Diet and health - modifying recipes

Less time / Less complex

1. Food and cooking: Did you know that the name coleslaw is from the Dutch term koolsla meaning cabbage salad? Coleslaw is a versatile dish that traditionally uses shredded raw cabbage mixed with a salad dressing, usually mayonnaise or vinaigrette.  Watch this coleslaw recipe video and identify three ways that the recipe could be modified to make it healthier. Make your new coleslaw recipe and enjoy with fish goujons or chicken nuggets.

2. Food and cooking: Canning is a method of preservation in which the food is processed and sealed in an airtight container. Canned food can be great for making quick and easy meals, but go for those without added salt or sugar, e.g. tuna in spring water or peaches in fruit juice. This spicy tomato soup is a simple recipe that can be made with canned ingredients. Read the recipe and identify the canned ingredients that could be used. Name four other canned ingredients that could be added to make it a really hearty meal.

3. Cooking and health and wellbeing: Change for health. Small changes to recipes can make a difference to your health. Consider at least six recipes/dishes that you like to cook and identify how you could adapt them to meet current healthy eating recommendations. For example:

  • increase fibre;
  • decrease salt;
  • decrease saturated fat;
  • decrease free sugars;
  • increase fruit and vegetables.

More time / More complex

4. Food and cooking: View the Recipe modification and cooking for health presentation and complete the Modifying a recipe – scone based pizza worksheet. Make your modified pizza, following the method here.  Carry out a sensory evaluation of your new pizza to make sure that it smells, looks and tastes good.

5. Food, cooking and creativity: Partly prepared ingredients and left-over food can be used to make fantastic, creative dishes. For example, left over yogurt or crème fraiche could be used for homemade dips, or spare mashed potato used to make fish cakespotato and spring onion cakes or bubble and squeak, and pasta or vegetables could be made into a frittata. Create a dish at home which uses left over ingredients. It is important to remember that cooked food should only be reheated once.

6. Food, cooking and creativity: Create and make. Complete the Breakfast muffin challenge and make a breakfast muffin that contains fruit and/or vegetables.

Want something longer to do? Try these 'project’ style activities around recipe modification:

To develop independent research and identify how to make choices around cooking for health, complete one of the Make it with mince challenges: Make it with mince challenge – healthier eating, Make it with mince challenge – Eatwell GuideMake it with mince challenge – higher fibre dishes, Make it with mince challenge – starchy carbohydrates. Each challenge gives a context, aims, objectives and teachers notes.

Want to do more? Have a look at these other Food route resources around diet and health.  There are activities, charts, worksheets, journals and certificates!

5-7 years  7-11 years  11-14 years  14-16 years


Consumer awareness - food choice

Less time / Less complex

1. Consumer awareness and IT: Play the interactive quizzes for consumer awareness. If you don’t want to play the interactive quizzes, you can work through the consumer awareness quiz worksheets.

2. Consumer awareness, art and literacy: Cut out food adverts you see in newspapers or magazines, or find adverts for food online. Create an infographic describing how adverts for food are designed. How are they persuading you to buy the food? What do you like or dislike about them? You can use this food route worksheet to support and design an advert for your favourite food.

3. Food, art and numeracy: Create a poster that shows at least six ways you can eat on a budget, with some top tips on how to save money when shopping and when cooking. You can use the economy gastronomy poster for inspiration!

More time / More complex

4. Consumer awareness, literacy and numeracy: How much do you know about consumer awareness? Complete the consumer awareness journal to test your knowledge of the different reasons why you choose food, how much your food costs and food labelling.

5. Food, cooking and literacy: Make a meal with your leftovers! Learn about using leftovers by reading through this presentation and use the leftovers cards to create a ‘leftover meal’. List the leftovers that you have in your house and see if you can make a meal out of these. It is important to remember that cooked food should only be reheated once.

6. Food and numeracy: How much does your favourite recipe cost? Find your favourite recipe, either online, from a recipe book or written down. If you don’t have one available, choose one of the FFL recipes! Then use the costings worksheet to work out how much the recipe would cost to make.


Consumer awareness - food labels and food origins

Less time / Less complex

1. Food and numeracy: Let’s learn about food labels! Do you know what a food label tells you? Test your knowledge and fill in the blanks on our Food route worksheet with the correct words.

2. Literacy and IT: How much do you know about food labels? Play our interactive resource and match the definitions with the food labelling terms. There are 10 to match!

3. Science and IT: The food we eat comes from a plant or an animal. Use the click and drag interactive activity to sort the different food into their origin, plant or animal. Alternatively, use the Plant or animal worksheet.


More time / More complex

4. Food and literacy: Compare what is in different food using food labels! Complete the Comparing the label worksheet using Explore food.

5. Food, science, art and literacy: Create an infographic about the 14 most common allergens, listing what they are and some of the food and/or recipes they are found in. The allergens are: food containing gluten, crustaceans, eggs, fish, peanuts, soybeans, milk, nuts, celery, mustard, sesame seeds, sulphur dioxide, lupin and molluscs. For more information, look at the Allergen labelling worksheet.

6. Food and literacy: Make a list of ten different places where you could buy food (e.g. supermarket, local market, takeaway, farm shop). List the types of food you can buy at each place, noting two advantages and two disadvantages of buying food from each one.


Want to do more? Have a look at these other Food route resources around consumer awareness.  There are activities, charts, worksheets, journals and certificates!

5-7 years  7-11 years  11-14 years  14-16 years


Cooking - food skills

Less time / less complex

1. Cooking, PSHE and literacy: How helpful are you? Print the Helping in the kitchen chart, or create your own, and tick off each time you help put away the shopping, help wash up, help clean the kitchen and help recycle food packaging.

2. Cooking and literacy: How well do you know your kitchen equipment? Complete the Kitchen equipment worksheet and link the pieces of equipment to their names. As an extra challenge, test your family’s knowledge too. Show one person an equipment card, or a piece of equipment, and ask them to describe to other family members the piece of equipment without saying what it does or its name.

3. Cooking and literacy: Become the teacher. Demonstrate your food skills to your family by showing them how to prepare a range of ingredients, such as dice an onion, peel and grate a carrot, deseed and chop a pepper.  Can they follow your instructions and now prepare the ingredients themselves?  Why not try a ‘silent demo’? Demonstrate without talking to see how well they are concentrating! Challenge yourself and your family further and demonstrate more complex recipes, such as quick bread buns, cheese straws, or white sauce.

More time / more complex

4. Food and cooking: Do you prefer chunky or smooth? A simple tomato sauce is a great base for a number of dishes, e.g. spaghetti bolognaise or chilli, or can be used to top pasta or fish.  Small electrical equipment, such as a stick blender, liquidiser or food processor can be used to modify the texture of sauces to satisfy people’s preferences or to better suit a recipe.  Complete the activity and identify whether you and your family prefer chunky or smooth.  Once you have finished use the sauce to make a meal, for example gnocchi with tomato sauce, pasta fiorentina, ratatouille, or sausage chilli cha cha cha.

5. Cooking: View the Food skills presentation and identify the food skills being used. Name two recipes that would use each of the food skills. Complete an audit of your own food skills. Rate the level of your food skills today – be truthful.  After a week or two of cooking, rate yourself again. Do you feel that your skill level has improved?  Watch these videos to support the development of your skills.

6. Cooking, numeracy and literacy: When planning to cook, there are a lot of factors to consider:

  • time, ingredients and equipment;
  • your food skills;
  • your food preferences;
  • how to adapt ingredients and cooking methods to make dishes healthier and look more appealing.

To support the cooking you are doing at home, and demonstrate the progress that you are making, print off and complete the Food route Cooking journal 11-14 or 14-16.


Cooking - recipes

Less time / less complex

1. Beetroot, now in season in the UK, is common throughout much of Europe, and is used extensively in Scandinavian, Eastern European and Russian cuisine. Add steamed or pickled beetroot to a salad; grate raw beetroot and add to rosti; blitz cooked beetroot with a can of chickpeas (drained) and a couple of spoons of natural yogurt for a quick hummus. If you like your food spicy, try beetroot pickled with Chilli!

2. Waste not, want not: Have you got fruit which has gone a bit soft? Don’t throw it away, make something tasty instead.  Make a fruit crumble, fruit smoothie, fruity muffins, fruit scones or banana and raisin cookies. If you have any vegetables past their best, make herby veggie crumble, savoury rice, soup or roasted vegetables.

3. Eat the seasons. Make a sensational seasonal salad using ingredients currently in season in the UK, such as courgettes, French beans, lettuce and salad leaves, mangetout, new potatoes, peas, radishes, runner beans, spring onions and tomatoes. Add grilled chicken, canned tuna, hummus or feta cheese. 

More time / more complex

4. Chickpeas are a good source of protein, but did you know that you can buy red, green, black and brown chickpeas, as well as the creamy coloured ones that we most commonly see in the supermarket? Follow Claire on this video from BNF Healthy Eating Week 2019 and make a tasty crunchy chickpea sandwich.

5. Jazz up your baked beans! Pulses are a great source of protein and fibre, why not try these ideas to give your baked beans a boost?

  • Add chilli powder, frozen mixed vegetables, canned sweetcorn or peas, crushed garlic, fresh or dried herbs to a can of baked beans – whatever you have. Heat through and top a jacket potato.
  • Add a little Worcestershire sauce to baked beans on toast, top with grated reduced-fat Cheddar cheese and ground black pepper.
  • Finely slice a green chilli and a small onion and fry in a little spray oil with 1 x 5ml spoon ground ginger, 1 x 5ml ground turmeric, 1 x 5ml ground cumin and 1 x 5ml dried coriander.  Add the beans and heat through.

For a quick and easy meal using baked beans, make tasty pork and beans. Serve with crusty wholemeal bread and a crunchy salad.

6. Buying frozen vegetables is a good way to prevent food waste, as you can just use what you need and put the rest back in the freezer for another time.

Want to do more? Have a look at these other Food route resources around cooking.  There are activities, charts, worksheets, journals and certificates!

5-7 years  7-11 years  11-14 years  14-16 years


Food hygiene and safety

Less time / less complex

1. Food hygiene and cooking: Clean and tidy. It is important that you are ready to cook before you start. Complete the Let’s get ready to cook worksheet to demonstrate you know how to do this.

2. Safety, food and cooking: Safety measures. Are you safe when you prepare, cook and store foods?  Complete the worksheet listing the different ways you keep safe.

3. Food hygiene, food and literacy: Consumer information. Food labels show you how to store and cook food safely. Write a shopping list and suggest where you should store each food.  Test your family by asking them to complete the Safe storage activity and using the Fridge and freezer storage cards.

More time / more complex

4. Food hygiene and literacy: Cooked and ready-to-eat foods should be kept separate from raw meat to help prevent cross-contamination. Explain cross-contamination and state why it is important to prevent it from happening. Use the Food hygiene presentation to support.

5. Food hygiene, food and cooking: Is it ready yet? List five food/recipes that you like to cook and eat. Identify how you know when they are ready to eat.

6. Food hygiene, cooking and literacy: Identify three recipes that you would like to make. Create a chart and answer the following questions:

  • Before cooking, where should the ingredients be stored?
  • What high risk ingredients, if any, does the recipe use?
  • How will I know it is cooked?
  • After cooking, where should it be stored if not eaten straight away?

Want to do more? Have a look at these other Food route resources around food hygiene and safety.  There are activities, charts, worksheets, journals and certificates!

5-7 years  7-11 years  11-14 years  14-16 years


Active lifestyles

Less time / less complex

1. Physical activity, art and literacy: Make a physical activity dice! Make a dice and write a different type of activity on all six sides. Then roll the dice and do the activity! Here’s an example.

2. Physical activity, art and literacy: Design a new game you can play at home with the equipment that you have available. Write down a list of rules and draw a picture of how you play the game. Play along.

3. Physical activity: Choose one of the three Healthy Eating Week Get Active games and play with those in your house. Which challenge will you pick: Five in a row; Keepy-uppy challenge or Beat the PE teacher?

More time / more complex

4. Physical activity and literacy: Complete the My activity booklet with some activities you are able to do at the moment. If you want to keep track of your activity for a longer period, you can use the My activity diary chart.

5. Physical activity: Print the Get active action cards, if you don't have a printer, you can make your own by writing down your own ideas. Then pick a card at random and do the activity on the card. Why not play along with someone in your house?

6. Physical activity and literacy: Complete the active lifestyles journal, to learn about barriers and solutions to being active, the benefits of activity and to see how active you have been this week.

Want to do more? Have a look at these other Food route resources around active lifestyles.  There are activities, charts, worksheets, journals and certificates!

5-7 years  7-11 years  11-14 years  14-16 years


Food/cooking literacy and numeracy

Less time / less complex

1. Writing and reading a recipe: A recipe is an instructional piece of writing, letting you know what you need and how to make a dish. It should be logical, so that people can easily follow the steps. For the following sections of a recipe, state why they are important, along with any other considerations you think are important.

  • Title
  • Ingredients list
  • Equipment list
  • Method

2. Numeracy: Cooking numbers. When we cook, we use maths and we are probably not aware of it! For each of following, give two cooking examples of how maths is used.

  • Weighing and measuring
  • Time
  • Fractions
  • Decimals
  • Addition, subtraction, multiplication and/or division
  • Positive and negative numbers

3. Numeracy: Portion size, portion wise. Did you know you could use your hand to calculate portion sizes? Use the BNF’s Find your balance  resource to list the weights of common ‘handy’ measures!  For example, a baked potato is about the size of your fist!

More time / more complex

4. Literacy and numeracy: What’s on the label?  Locate up to six food labels at home. Compare them. What do they have in common? What key information do they all provide?  Create a learning resource to explain what information is on a label and why it is there.

5. Literacy and numeracy: Just in time. Are you always running out of time? Time management is a skill that is used when cooking a number of different dishes at the same time. For example, you start dishes that take the longest time, or wash-up when items are in the oven. Read the following three recipes and create a time plan to show how they could all be cooked in the shortest time possible. Remember, it is just you cooking and you need to prepare, cook, serve and wash-up!

6. Numeracy and IT: Money matters. For the following scenarios, cost the price of the different recipes, meals and menus. Are you up for the challenge? Use an online supermarket to check the costs, making a note of which website you use.

  • A cheese, tomato and ham omelette (2 eggs, 50g Cheddar cheese, 1 tomato and 30g ham) – what’s the cost?
  • Beef lasagne and garlic bread – as an extra challenge, try and make them less expensive.
  • A stir-fry, with rice or noodles, for two people, and for less than £3.
  • Compare the cost of a ready-made pizza to one that you could make at home (remember, it needs to be as similar as possible).

For more activities around literacy, numeracy and food, click here

In addition Learn with stories (5-7 years and 7-11 years) have been designed to support cross-curricular/ inter-disciplinary learning. In particular Learn with stories focuses on literacy and numeracy. Each story is supported by a teachers' guide, a presentation and child friendly worksheets.

Is there something wrong with the page? Do you have a suggestion or would like to see something on this page?