Foodwise Kids | CUESA

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Foodwise Kids

New! Distance Learning Foodwise Kids: Spring 2021

CUESA has offered free nutrition and wellness programs such as Foodwise Kids to SFUSD students for the past decade. Foodwise Kids is a program for elementary school classes (grades 1 through 5) that in pre-COVID times used the farmers market as a classroom for empowering the next generation of healthy eaters. We nurture children’s love for fruits and vegetables, teach them to prepare healthy, seasonal foods, and raise their awareness of their role in a sustainable food system.

Adapted for Distance Learning in Spring 2021

We are piloting a distanced version of our Foodwise Kids program for Spring 2021, and for potential in-person lessons in Wave 1 and 2 schools. This adapt program will offer: 

  • 3 to 6 food and farm educational videos on topics such as:
    • What is a farmers market?
    • What does a local farm look like? Who are our farmers? (especially highlighting POC, women and immigrant farmers)
    • Plant science exploration: Which fruits and veggies grow in which season? How do fruit and veggies grow?
  • Synchronous online learning tied to educational videos*

  • Seasonal fruit and veggie tastings from local farms*

* Offered to a subset of participating classes

How to Apply:

If you are a teacher who is interested in participating, please fill out this form to apply:


Thank you!

Questions? Please contact Tiffany Chung of the CUESA Education Team at [email protected].

Online Resources for Teachers & Families

While in-person Foodwise Kids programming is on hiatus during the pandemic, please check out our online resources for activities you can do with your students or kids at home!

Video: What's Cool About the Farmers Market?

Have you ever wondered what makes farmers markets so cool? Meet some farmers and shoppers and hear why they like to shop at farmers markets!

Video: Knife Safety

Learn how to safely handle a knife, create a safe workspace, cut different shapes of fruits and vegetables, and more from Divya Pahwa of CUESA's Foodwise Kids program. Adult supervision required. This is a great activity for families to practice together, with kids ages seven and up.

Video: Seasoning

Dig into your pantry and learn all about seasoning, using your five senses, and adding flavor to foods with Divya Pahwa of Foodwise Kids. This is a great activity for families to do together, with kids age five and up (adult supervision encouraged).

Raising Foodwise Kids: Tips for Families

Get the whole family involved in shopping and cooking with fresh local ingredients! Cooking with children teaches skills that will serve them for life. Feel confident working with kids in the kitchen using our tips and seasonal recipes.

Kid-Friendly Recipes

We always suggest reviewing recipes with your child before beginning. Here’s a selection of kid-friendly recipes that use farmers market produce, developed by CUESA’s Foodwise Kids team.

About Foodwise Kids

Please note: In-person Foodwise Kids field trips and programming are currently on hiatus.

Foodwise Kids is a free program for elementary school classes that uses the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market as a classroom for empowering the next generation of healthy eaters. Through comparative tastings, exploring the market, and a hands-on cooking lesson, we nurture children’s love for fruits and vegetables, teach them to prepare healthy, seasonal foods, and raise their awareness of their role in a sustainable food system.

Foodwise Kids field trips begin with an introduction to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and California’s growing seasons. Students whet their palates with a produce tasting that features fruits or vegetables likely to be unfamiliar, and are urged to be open-minded and to engage their five senses. Next, students use their sense of smell to carefully practice adding flavor using liquid and dry ingredients. Students then venture into the market in small groups with their chaperones to select produce for their cooking class, using tokens provided by CUESA. They complete a worksheet that encourages them to meet farmers and learn more about their food and how it is grown.

Armed with produce and newfound knowledge, the children return to the kitchen to make a snack. Education Specialist Anisha Rathod and CUESA interns and volunteers teach basic cooking skills, such as how to add seasonings and properly use a knife. The students prepare a snack in small groups, using the ingredients they purchased. At the end of the class, the students proudly share their dishes with their classmates, teacher, and chaperones.

Since the Foodwise Kids program launched in fall of 2012, more than 10,000 students from local public elementary schools have participated.

Support Foodwise Kids

CUESA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and we rely on your support to offer this program free of charge to public elementary school students. Please help us grow the next generation of healthy eaters by making a tax-deductible donation today »

Learn More about Foodwise Kids

Read stories, student quotes, and teacher testimonials about Foodwise Kids:




CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »