A mother and daughter are at a farmer's market together. They are carrying baskets of vegetables including: carrots, tomatoes, and beets. They are smiling while in front of a large blackboard.

Hort Innovation’s latest project, Phenomenom, is a digital curriculum-aligned resource to help schools and families teach children about how food can affect their mood and the importance of staying positive.

A clip from a new Hort Innovation video which teaches kids they can control their mood by what they eat.

Hort Innovation General Manager Research and Development, Dr Alison Anderson, says the resource can be used by teachers and parents to educate children about the impact of food as well as other actions kids can take themselves to improve wellbeing through gardening and getting outdoors in green spaces.

“The digital resources, with Australian curriculum-aligned lesson plans across numeracy, literacy, humanities, and health, make it easy for teachers to engage kids in learning through videos, podcasts and activities, whether in the classroom or in a remote learning environment,” Dr Anderson said.

“We have conducted research into these new resources and found that four in five teachers use digital resources more than once per week and nine in ten teachers would like to see more food and nutrition teaching resources available which is why we are launching The Good Mood Food Special.”

To find out more about the Hort Innovation Good Mood Food Special, please click here https://phenomenom.com.au/

The creator of Phenomenom, Alice Zaslavsky, said: “Phenomenom has been the result of years of research and development, from a team of more than 60 talented creatives and specialists. The Good Mood Food Special is a natural progression which considers the changing nature of schooling, giving parents and teachers actionable resources to make teaching easy and enjoyable, all while helping build better relationships with food.”

What is included:

  • A fully animated video episode called a ‘webisode’ (voiced by comedian Matt Okine and Little Lunch star Madison Lu) with a specially composed song to gain kids’ hearts and minds
  • Three animated ‘Nomcast’ audio podcast episodes
  • Four PDF resources including lesson plans designed for teachers to pick up and run with in the classroom or set for the remote learning environment
  • Posters, classroom prompt cards and quiz questions designed for the Kahoot platform
  • A Good Mood Moves wheel encourages teachers to provide regular classroom mood breaks, using movement in line with current research to help boost engagement. It features a specially designed interactive wheel that gamifies fruit and vegetables into exercises that children benefit from doing regularly. 
There is a strong body of evidence supporting whole foods for a good mood. There is no better time to include more fruit, vegetables and nuts in our diet and enjoy our wonderful green spaces.

Ms Zaslavsky said contemporary research shows how important it is to honour all kids’ feelings – not just the good ones.

“We’re trying to give them the tools to learn to put themselves in a positive mindset, despite whatever obstacles might come their way,” Ms Zaslavsky said.

“The program uniquely does this in a way that also provides teachers with amazing lesson plans that support numeracy and literacy through curriculum-aligned activities too.”

Hort Innovation Research and Development Manager and Accredited Practising Dietitian Jemma O’Hanlon said, ”There is a strong body of evidence supporting whole foods for a good mood. These resources will help teachers explain the science of good mood foods and the impact of green space on mood in a fun and engaging way. There is no better time to include more fruit, vegetables and nuts in our diet and enjoy our wonderful green spaces.”

The package, wheel and all resources are available for free online at Phenomenom.com.au.

If you enjoyed this story, you might like our feature on The Naked Farmer, and how they are raising money for mental health.

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