‘A New Way to Eat’ is setting out to change the way Chinese kids eat through China’s first food education program built to integrate nutrition and sustainability. It is a behavior change program teaching China's kids how to eat in a way that is good for them and good for the planet. It aims to empower children to help turn the tide on personal health and planetary wealth - with every bite they take.
Read our latest report: Kids as Food Heroes, A New Way to Eat in China
‘A New Way to Eat’ is setting out to change the way Chinese kids eat through China’s first food education program built to integrate nutrition and sustainability. The program was launched by JUCCCE at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2013 out of a desire to talk to kids about making a difference in climate change through their stomachs.
A New Way to Eat is a behavior change program teaching China's kids how to eat in a way that is good for them and good for the planet. It aims to empower children to help turn the tide on personal health and planetary wealth – with every bite they take.
Chinese kids are in a health crisis. Overconsumption, westernizing diets, and sedentary lifestyles in urban areas have created an alarming rise of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Close to one-fifth of Chinese children are now overweight. Already 12% of China’s population is diabetic: in fact, one-third of all diabetics globally live in China.
China’s health crisis is also a planetary one. In China’s rising middle class, increased consumption, waste, and an increasing demand for meat and dairy are straining the environment. Inefficient food production systems are driving land degradation, water scarcity and pollution, and climate change. Globally, the food system is the single biggest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; in China, it is responsible for nearly a quarter of emissions.
It is possible to affect 1.4 billion people's dietary habits in China, as culture can be influenced top-down through national government mandates. China is revising its nutritional framework and is open to combining health and sustainability. There is no existing food curriculum, so the time is ripe to reinvent a way to talk to kids about food.
Chinese people are used to rapid changes, particularly in their food habits. For instance, foods nearly absent from the traditional Chinese diet a generation ago are now widely consumed, such as dairy products and processed snacks. A New Way to Eat can push these rapid shifts forward: this time in a positive direction towards healthier and lower-impact diets.
Chinese families are keen to learn more about where their food comes from. This is especially true in the wake of frequent food scandals. In China, parents are eager for anything that can help their children study well, and healthy diets and lifestyles are proven to improve students’ grades.
The battlefront for climate change is China. Kids are looking for a way to personally contribute to this challenge. Simply by eating healthier, kids can reduce their personal emissions significantly. Healthier diets of fewer animal products and processed snacks and instead more fruit and vegetables can reduce up to 40% of personal emissions.
The curriculum and recipes have been created with the guidance of leading global health, nutrition, and environmental experts, and they are still in the process of development and field-testing. A New Way to Eat has three components:
1. A new ‘Food Hero Eating Framework’ designed for kids
A single cohesive framework combines nutrition and sustainability principles in 1) three simple to remember ‘Food Hero Rules’ and 2) an ‘Eating Table’ that shows kids what to eat and when to eat it.
Goal: China to adopt the new eating framework principles
2. Play-based primary school activities across multiple subjects
The A New Way to Eat curriculum makes nutrition and sustainability jargon kid-friendly, actionable, and culturally appropriate. Program activities breathe fresh life into Chinese classroom settings with play-based learning, or ‘playducation’, which aims to teach kids to enjoy real food and be smarter food consumers.
Goal: Schools across the country to integrate activities into their curricula
3. Healthy, tasty and affordable school lunch recipes
The program partners with local star chefs and Chartwells to provide school cafeterias with 100 kid-tested recipes for a variety of budgets.
Goal: Use school lunches to model the principles of A New Way to Eat
JUCCCE is looking for funding to hire two full time people to run this program for the next three years, and create a comprehensive curriculum aimed at Chinese primary school kids. We are also in need of:
- Teachers to pilot our classes
- Volunteer designers
- English to Chinese translators
- People to take pictures and videos
- People to update the curriculum on our website
- Chefs to help with recipe development
(For more info, please email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Key contributors: Peggy Liu (Chairperson, JUCCCE), David Agus MD (Professor of Medicine and Engineering at the University of Southern California, author of “The End of Illness”), Walter Willett MD DrPH (Chair, Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health), Barry Popkin PhD (W. R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health), Gunhild A Stordalen MD PhD (Director, EAT Initiative/EAT Stockholm Food Forum), Brett Rierson (Head, World Food Programme, China), Laura Jana MD FAAP (Director of Innovation, University of Nebraska College of Public Health), Kirk Bergstrom (President, WorldLink), Alan Dangour (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine), Prof. Sir Andy Haines (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine), Dr. Rosemary Green (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine), Lili Jia (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine), Prof. Hugh Montgomery (Director, UCL Inst for Human Health and Performance), John Elkington (Executive Chairman, Volans Ventures, Honorary Chairman of SustainAbility), Dr. Linda Friedland (Nutritionist, Australia), Fiona Gately (Nourish Communication), Dr. Tara Garnett (FCRN, Oxford University), Roy Ballam (Education Programme Manager, British Nutrition Foundation), Neil Lovell (CEO, Jamie Oliver Food Foundation), Juliane Caillouette Noble (School Programmes Manager, Jamie Oliver Food Foundation), Louise Holland (Deputy to Jamie Oliver, The Jamie Oliver Group), Anthony Lilley (Magic Lantern), Colin Bullen (Health at Work), Myles Bremner (School Food Plan), Katy Cooper (C3 Collaboration for Health), Christine Hancock (C3 Collaboration for Health), Tim Wang (CEO, Ecolab China), Magic Breakfast (UK), The End of the Line, Anne Heughan (Unilever), Gae Redoblado (Unilever), Claire Hughes (Nutritionist, Marks & Spencer), Rasmus Taun (Photography), Kimberly Wong (Director of Sproutworks), Kimberly Ashton (Chief Officer, Sprout Lifestyle), Andrew Wong (Beach Creative), Lucy Guyard (Designer), Kevin Ong (Designer), Kyle Mertensmeyer (Creative), Paul Iglesia (Creative), Malcolm Casselle, Mercedes Revy (Head, China Nutrition and Food Safety, World Health Organization, China), Lu Mai 卢迈 (Secretary General, China Development Research Foundation), Qian Zhang 张倩 (China Center for Disease Control), Antony Froggatt (Senior Research Fellow, Chatham House), Rob Bailey (Research Director, Chatham House), Prof. Yuexin Yang (President, China Nutrition Society) Prof. Liu Xin 刘新 (Tsinghua University), Prof. Yuan Bo 原博 (Tsinghua University), Stefano Bosello (Head, Chartwells Catering, China), Dana Jiang (Nutritionist, Chartwells Catering, China), Viktor Serafimov (Chartwells Catering, China), YB. Song (Founder, Dashu Wujie), Daisy Zhang (Element Fresh), Sandra Brown (Shanghai pilot school YK Pao), Graeme Kennedy (Director of Communications, Wellington College International Shanghai), Nicola Street (Teacher, Wellington College International Shanghai), Michelle Kolossy (Teacher, Wellington College International Shanghai), Alexandra Blake (Teacher, Wellington College International Shanghai), Cristina Ng (Teacher, Liaoyuan Elementary School), Malcolm Shu (Managing Partner, Sproutworks), QXKids 创想号 (Children’s educational magazine), EAT Forum,
Recipe contributors: Dashu Wujie restaurant, Element Fresh, Sprout Lifestyles (Kimberly Ashton), Farmhouse Juice (Uriel Copelev and Ena), Madison restaurant (Austin Hu), Awakening restaurant, Sproutworks
Thanks also to Project Directors: Lucy Luo, Charlie Mathews, Stephanie Marmier
Researchers: Nicole Adler, Michelle Chan, Henry Chen, Jennie Chen, Olivia Chen, Wee Leng Cheong, Derek Dai, George Day-Reiss, Laurelin Haas, Finola Hackett, Nathan Hayes, Noel He, Michael Homer, Amy Hua, Sophia Hua, Vivian Huang, Michelle Jia, Jiao Chun Ting 焦骏婷, Margaret Lane, Diana Lee, Li Kai Yue 李恺悦, Li Zhuojun 李卓君, Lu Shanshan 陆珊珊, Luxi Liu, Paul Liu, Rachel Mok, Calli Obern, Taylor Patrash, Kate Price, Rodrigo Saavedra, Claire Sun, Rebecca Tanda, Jean Walsh, Yale Wang, Alex Wong, Stephanie Wong, Sylvia Wong, Ju Yu, Xiao Yuan 肖媛, Alex Zheng, Mason McCormack, Cory McCormack.