Using Refresh.ED Resources in your classroom.

Refresh.ED is a resource to help teachers introduce food and nutrition in their classrooms. Edith Cowan University has developed teaching and learning materials for Kindergarten to Year 10. Online professional learning is also available to teachers.


What is food and nutrition education?

Food and nutrition education is the process of developing students’ attitudes, knowledge and skills about food and healthy eating.

Food & nutrition education content includes:  

  • sources of food and food systems 
  • influences on food choices and selecting healthy choices  
  • planning, managing, preparing and cooking food 
  • understanding the health impacts of foods consumed.  

Food and nutrition education teaching and learning activities need first to consider the background and needs of students then to develop the motivation, knowledge and skills to affect food choices. Activities that are personally relevant and engaging work best. 

Why is food and nutrition education so important for your classroom?

Exploring food and nutrition with students can have a positive influence on their food choices and health. Knowledge and understanding of our food system is essential to motivate their action for both personal and planetary health.

Statistics from the Australian Health Survey show startling facts about our youth’s dietary intakes. 

  • Only 5% meet the guidelines for serves of vegetables  
  • 40% aged 4-8 meet dairy serve guidelines but this falls to under 4% by 12-18 years
  • 70% aged 2-18 years met the guidelines for daily serves of fruit and grain foods 
  • 75% exceeded WHO recommendation of less than 10% energy from free sugars  
  • 40% energy came from energy-dense, nutrient-poor ‘discretionary’ foods and drinks  
  • Around one in four (27.4%) children aged 5-17 years were overweight or obese 

Our biggest challenge is preventing discretionary foods from displacing core foods, such as vegetables and dairy products, from children and their family’s daily diets.

Global food production is the largest environmental pressure caused by humans on Earth. Current global food production accounts for : 

  • 91% deforestation
  • 51% of greenhouse gas emissions 
  • 45% global land use 
  • 30% global water use  

Global food transport, excess food packaging and household food waste all contribute to a wasteful and unsustainable food system. 

Raising student awareness and knowledge of food system issues can motivate them to become part of the solution through personal actions and potential career choices.

Food and Nutrition Education Scope and Sequence

Refresh.ED has developed a scope and sequence for food and nutrition education. This drew on existing international food and nutrition curriculum frameworks, theories related to development of children’s learning and eating habits; and the Australian Dietary Guidelines.

Four food and drink focus areas (source, choice, experience and health) and five developmental stages based on Australian Curriculum age bands were defined and used to scaffold content. Food and nutrition content descriptors and key messages for each age group were devised to guide development of the Refresh.ED learning units. Teachers can also use these to design age appropriate food and nutrition learning experiences for their students.

Curriculum Links

Refresh.ED provides Kindergarten to Year 10 teachers with teaching materials which link to various learning areas, General Capabilities and Cross-curriculum Priorities outlined in the Australian Curriculum. The units also link specifically to the Western Australian Curriculum.

Learning Units 

At each year level, Refresh.ED provides Learning Units, including associated work sheets and assessment tasks which fit into one of four food and drink focus areas; SOURCE, CHOICE, EXPERIENCE AND HEALTH. These four focus areas can be taught in different learning areas to provide a cross-curricular approach to food and nutrition education at each year level. 

Programming of Refresh.ED units is flexible. Teachers can choose to teach one or more units and in any order depending on teacher and student needs, interests and/or prior learning. 

One unit may be taught over a week (one learning task a day) or over half a term (one learning task a week). Four units may be taught in different learning areas concurrently or spread over a year. 

Each Refresh.ED unit follows a similar format with 3-6 learning tasks per unit. Learning tasks are structured under the headings INTRODUCING, DEVELOPING and REFLECTING Key Messages. Teaching in this sequence is recommended to help progressively build student learning. 

WATCH and LEARN more about using Refresh.ED Learning Units here:  

Teacher Information Sheets and Teaching Ideas

Refresh.ED provides teachers with a range of Teacher Information Sheets to support the delivery of the Learning Units. Our Teaching Ideas page gives teachers a range of current and reliable lesson ideas which can be easily implemented in the classroom. These include ideas like:  

  • Food Sponsorship and Advertising  
  • Fresh Ricotta Experiment  
  • Milk Production – Cow to Cup  
  • Refresh.ED Links to The Arts Learning Area  
  • Refresh.ED Links to Mathematics Learning Area 
  • School Canteens 
  • Sugar  

Easily Accessible

To access all the FREE Refresh.ED teaching materials register on the website HERE. Once you have registered and logged in you can download all the materials:  

Curriculum Materials – 44 learning units from K-Year 10 

Professional Learning Documents including: 

Contact Information