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1st-5th Grade NYC Residency

Our programs are taught in 5-week residency “blocks,” in which an educator from Spoons Across America teaches daily in an assigned school, providing children with consistent, weekly instruction and hands-on activities around food, nutrition, and taste.

We implement 4 sessions long, weekly programs for all children in the 1st-5th grades at each of our participating schools, ensuring a “whole school” approach to food education for children, teachers, and families.  

Children participating in our programs have educational experiences around food, tasting, nutrition, and health that are developmentally appropriate and build upon previous concepts and experiences.

All our programs are hands-on and exploratory based, as well as including opportunities for writing and drawing and contain take-home materials for families with recipes, related activities, and opportunities for further discovery.

Food Explorers
1st Grade

Spoons Across America’s core curriculum begins in the 1st grade with Spoons Food Explorers. In this program, children are introduced to the fresh, healthy ingredients in a simple recipe, and actively explore these foods using all of their senses: sight, smell, touch, hearing, and of course taste! Children fill out their “Journals” as they follow a “sensory map” on their healthful food adventure.

In subsequent sessions, children revisit some of the ingredients they encountered in the previous session as they make and enjoy a simple and healthy recipe.

Children take home a family newsletter including information about the program, related activities, and a recipe for the dish they created in the session.


  • Throughout the program children have the opportunity to smell, taste, and talk about new and unfamiliar foods: inspiring them to develop curiosity about taste.

  • Each session includes a tasting component as well as additional hands-on activities that connect to current Common Core Learning Standards.

Farm to Book
2nd Grade

Spoons Across America’s curriculum continues in the 2nd grade with Farm to Book®. This program gives children the opportunity to further explore new and unfamiliar tastes.  Using Children’s literature – both fiction and nonfiction – children also learn about the source of their food – how it is produced, grown, and transported from farm to table, making these concepts accessible and fun for young children.

  • These picture books focus on a range of culinary, health, and agriculture related topics including local and seasonal foods, information about plants (parts of a plant, how a seed grows), foods of different cultures, and nutrition.

  • In every session children have the opportunity to smell, taste, and talk about new and unfamiliar foods: inspiring them to become adventurous eaters and develop curiosity about taste, and where their food is grown.

  • Each session includes a tasting component as well as an additional hands-on activity that connects to current Common Core Learning Standards.

At the end of each session, children receive a journal page for writing and drawing as well as a family newsletter containing recipes, activities and information related to the food highlighted in that month’s book.

Take A Taste
3rd Grade

Building upon the themes of exploration and discovery established in Food Explorers and Farm to Book, this residency for 3rd graders, gives children the opportunity to delve deeper into the discovery of taste, develop increased vocabulary around food and flavor, learn more specific information about nutrition and healthful food choices, and make some simple recipes.


Take a Taste is a food and nutrition literacy program for 3rd graders. Each lesson focuses upon a different theme—elements of taste, healthy beverages, and nutritious snacks—providing opportunities for students to taste, prepare, and share food with their classmates.

Each lesson concludes with a shared snack or drink, and time is given for children to write or draw a reflection in their Spoons’ journal. Children bring home a family newsletter with recipes, suggestions for related reading, games, conversation starters, and a recipe to encourage them to prepare and talk about food with their families.

Each session is hands-on, provides opportunities for cooking and tasting, and connects to Common Core Learning Standards.

Recipe Days
4th Grade

In each session, 4th-grade children use their food discovery skills and developing food curiosity, honed in our 1st-3rd grade programs, to explore more complex flavors, recipes, and concepts.  Activities are presented in a fun, hands-on manner with opportunities to learn kitchen skills, kitchen science, and food origins. In each session, children;

  • Discover and explore the elements of taste and are encouraged to use descriptive words in discussing their observations.

  • Taste the individual ingredients in a selected recipe and use their increasingly complex vocabulary to share their reactions.

  • Learn about the nutritious aspects of the ingredients and any local, seasonal and cultural elements of the dish.

  • Prepare and eat the recipe together learning food preparation skills to gain confidence that will enable them to participate in mealtime preparation at home.

After each session, children are write and/or draw a reflection in their journals and are given a family newsletter with activities, suggestions for further reading, and a copy of the highlighted monthly recipe.

Lessons connect to classroom curricular goals, including STEM, and COMMON CORE Learning Standards.

Choose Your Plate
5th Grade

Choose Your Plate is a dynamic recipe-focused food education program that teaches children about the foods that comprise a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

After completing 4 years of Spoons Across America’s programming, 5th grade children are ready for the culminating program of their Spoons Across America experience. 5th grade students are responsible for planning, preparing, and creating a healthy plant-based Menu for the 3 main meals of the day (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner).

Throughout the program, children further explore and review taste concepts and expand their understanding of nutrition, the difference between a “diet” and a “healthy diet.”, food safety, meal-planning, and cooking. In this program, children further explore taste concepts, expand their understanding of nutrition, the difference between a “diet” and a “healthful diet”, food safety, meal-planning, and cooking. The powerful experience of planning meals also deepens their understanding of the value of teamwork, and sharing, while building self-esteem and having fun.

Lessons connect to classroom curricular goals, including STEM, and COMMON CORE Learning Standards.

Want to Bring the Residency to your NYC School?

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