F-L-S: Food, Love Service Café - Saskatoon Public Schools Foundation
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F-L-S: Food, Love Service Café

Through collaborative FLS meetings, Jen Steele (teacher, Ecole Dundonald) and Lynn Anderson (teacher, Chief Whitecap) discussed the challenges that FLS students face around food tolerances and exposure at mealtimes. A variety of cultures and socio-economic backgrounds are represented in our classrooms and therefore alongside certain food aversions, students may not be experiencing a wide variety of foods and have a limited palate of foods that they accept. Hence, the idea of the Food-Love-Service Café was born!

FLS Junior at Chief Whitecap and Ecole Dundonald School, together were awarded $2000 from Saskatoon Public School Foundation to begin our food journey. This project allowed students to experience food from the planning stages to tasting. Students brainstormed meal ideas, made shopping lists, went to the grocery stores, practiced money handling, followed recipe instructions, and set and cleaned up the kitchen and “café” area. We not only shared our favourite foods but learned to sit at a table and share a meal with friends.

Some of meal highlights include watching a student experience Taco Tuesday for the very first time, making burgers from scratch, expanding a student with a very limited palate to taste test everything and even ask for more, a Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter feast, Miss Steele sharing her “cheesy beano” baked potato from Scotland and after trying it- students requesting Bannock on their AAC device!

In preparation, surveys surrounding family eating habits, meal preparation and student behaviours around different foods were sent home. Alongside this, family recipes were gathered so that we could not only widen the palates of our students but expose them to different cultural food experiences and traditions! We were also able to make a collaborative cookbook. Each week we would complete a checklist to record where students had tried new foods and whether they enjoyed it. This information was be shared with families and compared with the surveys to see the progress students were making and allow families to offer these meals at home.

“Exposing her to new foods has been great! She is trying new foods at home now!”

Parent of FLS Student

FLS Café also allowed for the two programs to have shared experiences and get togethers. We were able to celebrate our achievements through two group meals, one a winter picnic at Brighton and a spring picnic at Chief Whitecap School. This project created life skill experience that was delivered in a fun and engaging way that encompassed many goals from the FLS classroom.

Written by teachers Jen Steele and Lynn Anderson