Teaching Our Children Well
Positive change for tomorrow starts with education today. And in Silicon Valley, Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose is making its mark on the future of food.
Celebrating 25 years, the museum is undergoing a one-of-a-kind, three-phase project aimed at educating and promoting active living and healthy eating for children and families—with an overlying message to Eat a Rainbow Every Day.
I toured the museum with Executive Director Marilee Jennings, who passionately explained the details of this innovative new program.
Phase one of the project was to create an interactive “Rainbow Market” exhibit where children engage in a variety of activities designed to encourage them to learn where their food comes from, understand ingredients and make smart and colorful choices.
Phase two, launched in June, is the new FoodShed café, run by Nicole Jacobi of Gourmet Lunch in Menlo Park. Serving food that is prepared onsite, locally sourced and organic when available, Jacobi states, “As a foodservice provider, I see myself in partnership with the parent to ease any feeding stress that may happen. I do this by offering food for children that both appeals to the child’s need for simplicity, color and familiarity and speaks to the parent’s desire for health and wellness.”
Designed by renowned BCV Architects with reclaimed barnwood and tiles from Fireclay Tile and guided by food consultant Karen Karp of Karp Resources, the café wall is decorated with a map of our local foodshed and the café centerpiece is a “Rainbow Station,” where children can put their learning into action and choose from a colorful selection of produce to fill their Discovery Bento Box. Adults can also use the Rainbow Station by selecting toppings for their made-to-order salad, grain bowl or wrap.
Phase three of the project is next up. It will involve expanding the current garden learning center to a 27,500-square-foot garden outdoor space with raised beds and a multitude of hands-on educational activities, where museum guests can continue their food journey—exploring the outdoors and experiencing where it all begins.