On the Menu – A New Resource for Food Teaching


Adopting good practice

As a previous secondary food technology teacher, now supporting teachers and their pupils through the ‘Food – a fact of life’ education programme, I am delighted that over the last two years, the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) has published two guides to support primary and secondary teachers to become even better teachers of food and nutrition. 

The Characteristics of good practice in teaching food and nutrition education (primary and secondary) guides set out a series of characteristics of good practice, determined via consensus building exercises with the food teaching community from the UK.  These can be adopted as part of a good practice approach by all those that teach food and nutrition. To date, these have been very well received with over 3,000 downloads and nearly 2,000 teachers registering to do the online courses based on the guides.

This year, the BNF has produced a third guide, this time to support teachers of pupils with special educational needs.  We know that young people are motivated and inspired by food, especially opportunities to handle, prepare and cook.  We are fully committed to all children and young people having the necessary ‘food’ skills to cook and feed themselves well and keep healthy. We also believe that all pupils should be given the opportunity to achieve to the best of their capability, maximising opportunities for independent living and work. 

The guide, available in April 2021, aims to provide a perspective on teaching food and nutrition to pupils with special educational needs:

  • – define the key characteristics of good practice that are specific to SEND;
  • – exemplify these characteristics of good practice in UK schools, both special and mainstream;
  • – identify exemplary practice and the school staff who could take responsibility for leading or enabling the practice;
  • – highlight the key features of achieving these characteristics, showing how these can be put into practice, with case studies and suggestions of how to develop these for the future;
  • – support trainee, newly qualified and practising teachers.

How can it be used? 

The guide can be used in a variety of ways, such as:

  • – ensuring that the teaching of food and nutrition is pupil centred and is appropriate for a pupil’s own learning journey;
  • – developing pupil’s skills for independent living and the world of work, especially in ‘food’;
  • – showcasing practice through defined characteristics; 
  • – promoting lifelong personal and professional development, helping individuals to audit their knowledge and skill-set; 
  • – developing the management of food and nutrition teaching; 
  • – acknowledging the role of the teacher in the whole school approach to health and wellbeing. 

The guide will be freely available from April 2021 to teachers across the UK to download from our Food – a fact of life website, along with a free online course.




Frances Meek
Author: Frances Meek

Frances Meek
Senior Education Officer at British Nutrition Foundation | | + posts

Frances graduated from the University of North London with a BA in Hotel and Catering Management and then worked in the catering industry as a catering manager for a number of years.  Following this, she set up a consultancy business running health and safety and food hygiene courses.

Frances then decided to retrain as a teacher and followed the Graduate Teacher Programme to gain her QTS.  Frances has worked in a variety of educational establishments and in particular as Teacher in Charge of Food Technology at a girl’s grammar school in Kent.  Frances joined the British Nutrition Foundation in August 2014 and is responsible for supporting the Foundation’s work with secondary schools and their students. 




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