The world over is experiencing problems with children’s health. Jamie Oliver for years has spearheaded the drive to educate kids about real food. The problem is so large, he realised he couldn’t do it on his own so he created Jamie’s Food Revolution. It’s designed to “provoke debate and inspire real, meaningful, positive change in the way our children access, consume and understand food.” Jamie now inspires an army of Ambassadors worldwide (over 745,000) to drive the cause of educating kids about real food.
These Ambassadors are all doing amazing work educating children and adults about real food. The education is wide and varied, ranging from work like we’re doing to empower kids to make better food choices, to teaching whole communities on how to grow their own produce, to cooking classes on how to use real food ingredients to make delicious real food simply.
This week I am delighted to share a meeting I had with a fellow Food Revolution Ambassador Irena Tomazin. Irena is from Slovenia – a little country, sharing borders with Italy, Austria and Croatia.
When we set out on our Australian Tour to Transform Children’s Health in Australia in October 2015, Jamie Oliver did a big shout out for us saying “very inspiring work from The Root Cause team” (yes, I did scream with excitement and came close to wetting my pants). Irena saw Jamie’s shout out and has been following our tour ever since then – all the way from Slovenia. How awesome is the internet eh?
Irena is currently travelling Western Australia (WA) with her family and saw we were also in WA. She reached out to see if we could catch up. A little over a week later, with both families travelling several hundred kilometres, we managed to catch up in a small coastal town in North West WA called Denham, which is part of Shark Bay’s World Heritage Site.
Irena spoke great English so we had no problems of chatting for hours about both our approaches to Educating Kids About Real Food. Her husband also blew our mind with some great ideas for our upcoming Online Kids Club based around our Mad Food Science Program. Her boys didn’t speak much English but played for hours with our 2 kids, first in the playground, then making a massive car park and airport in the camp ground, followed by a board game. Just goes to show you, language has no barrier with kids – they find a way to communicate and have fun.
Food Revolution Ambassadors are dedicated to the cause of educating kids about food and I wanted to share the great work Irena is doing in Slovenia.
Irena runs real food cooking workshops at a council run drop in centre. Sometimes her classes are small, sometimes they are big. She has to think on her feet how to cater for whatever audience turns up. Her workshops range from teaching children as young as 2, to teenagers and even whole families. Irena’s favourite workshop is teaching how to make nourishing soups from scratch. She loves to get everyone involved, hands on, even if they are only 2. She finds age appropriate tasks for them to do. For instance, with little kids she loves to get them crushing seeds and herbs using a mortar and pestle, the older kids chop, as well as cook. Her favourite aspects of her work are watching how younger boys really play up to using their muscles using the pestle to grind the seeds and herbs into a paste. She also especially loves seeing the older kids explaining to the younger kids about the task they are doing. Irena’s website translates to Healthy Soup in English. Here’s a pic of Irena in action.
I asked Irena if she can share with us one of her nourishing soup recipes she makes with kids, so we can all make it at home. Of course, she was more than happy to share her love of real food and preparing it with kids. Go here to grab Irena’s Broccoli Soup With Almonds and Quinoa, along with great tips on how to get your kids involved.