Pilot Light’s Food Education Standards encompass what we believe to be the benchmarks of the food knowledge, skills and attitudes children need to have healthy relationships with food. Developed to maximize the educational benefit within the classroom, the Food Education Standards complement young people’s food and nutrition knowledge, behaviors, skills, and attitudes already occurring in homes and communities and serve as a holistic definition of food education.

Utilizing the Standards

The Standards documents were designed by a team of teachers knowledgeable in Pilot Light’s food education model to provide detailed guidelines for curriculum development, instruction, and assessment of food education in the classroom. Each Standard is divided into measurable competencies by grade level bands: K–2, 3–5, 6–8, and 9–12. Within each grade-level band, examples of parallel cross-curricular learning standards have also been identified to assist teachers in lesson development. Additionally, each Standard provides grade-band appropriate examples of real-world experiences, along with sample lesson plans for reference and inspiration.

1. Food connects us to each other.

The Why: By sharing food with others, we connect as humans and learn more about one another’s experiences and identities. 

2. Foods have sources and origins.

The Why: By honoring and acknowledging the land and people who grow and cultivate food, we can better understand the context and stories of cultures and trace their movements over time.

3. Food and the environment are interconnected.

The Why: By recognizing food (in all its forms) as a part of an ecosystem, we can analyze the interdependence of all living organisms on one another for energy and better address the effects humans have on the environment.

4. Food behaviors are influenced by external and internal factors.

The Why: By identifying internal and external factors that influence food choices, we can think critically about our own individual food behaviors while taking into account environmental, social, and emotional factors that urge us to eat or dictate our access to food. 

5. Food impacts health.

The Why: By building knowledge around how different foods interact with the body to sustain us, we can identify the benefits of nutrient-dense foods and their effects on our bodies and minds.

6. We can make positive and informed food choices. 

The Why: By experiencing autonomy over our bodies with access to nutritious and vibrant food, we are empowered to make positive and informed food choices in our lives.

7. We can advocate for food choices and changes that impact ourselves, our communities, and our world.

The Why: By making our own food choices heard and centering the voices of young people, we can help young people build an equitable food future that is their own.


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