We specialize in developing food literacy education programs at home and abroad

Consulting Services

Our goal is to improve the health and education of children by making food literacy education part of every child’s learning journey.

We consult with schools and community centers to develop food literacy education programs based on the award-winning Food is Elementary curriculum. Most of our clients are elementary and middle schools, but we have worked successfully with a range of age groups, from children in preschool to senior citizens.

To ensure program success, we work closely with clients to establish a timeline of deliverables. After working out a plan designed to meet our client’s needs, we help recruit and interview food educators who we train and mentor through regular check-ins, observations, and professional development tailored to meet their immediate needs.

We work to involve families, school food staff, and professionals from the local culinary, agriculture, health, and arts communities.

The first step to initiating a food literacy education program at your school or organization is to contact us to arrange a time to meet and discuss the possibilities.

Castelli International School has worked with the Food Studies Institute since 2013 in Italy and the United States. Dr. Antonia and Ariel Demas held fun, hands-on workshops with our students and teachers, as well as with other International Schools in Rome. The work done at our school with our entire staff and parents motivated the school management to include the “Food is Elementary” curriculum in our program so our students can learn the importance of healthy eating and grow up to be healthy and caring adults. We highly recommend this program to educators who care about a holistic education for their school community.”

-Marianne and Natasha Palladino, Founder and Principal, Castelli International School, Rome, Italy

Our Process & Timelines


Introductory Meeting

Who: Administrators, Food Studies Institute
Where: in person, zoom, or telephone
When: 30-60 minutes
What: “get to know you” meeting for us to learn about your school and for you learn about our offerings

Proposal & Agreement

We will send a detailed draft proposal including the goals, action steps, and timeline of deliverables required to initiate a food education program to your school, along with a Memorandum of Understanding defining the roles & responsibilities of key players. Once the proposal is approved by both parties, we will sign it and get to work!


Recruit, Interview, Hire a Teacher

We will create and post the “Food Educator” position, conduct preliminary interviews, and narrow the pool to 3 candidates for the school to interview.

Teacher Training

We conduct an immersive, 2-day training that equips teachers to effectively implement the Food is Elementary curriculum. Upon completion of the training and additional requirements, teachers are awarded their “Food Educator” certification.

Fall-Spring SY22-23

Food Education Program Begins

The “Food Educator” begins implementing the Food is Elementary curriculum and is mentored by the Food Studies Institute throughout the school year.

Write a Final Report

We evaluate the first year of the programs by analyzing data, highlighting successes, acknowledging challenges, and making recommendations for year 2.


Learning Outcomes

Students who participate in Food is Elementary Programs are:

Ready to learn – Nutritious foods fuel the brain and body, and research shows that students who eat a healthy diet perform better in school than students who are hungry or malnourished.

Aware of how food choices effect their health – Students understand the relationship between nutrition and health and the role food can play in preventing disease.

Proficient in basic life skills – Valuing nutrition and being able to decode food labels, plan and prepare healthy meals, and maintain kitchen safety and hygiene are practical skills that students can use for the rest of their life.

Global citizens – One of the most enjoyable and impactful ways to learn about other cultures is through their foodways.

Influential on their family – Children are excited to share what they learn at school with their family and can have a profound impact on their family’s eating behavior. Click here to listen to an NPR Interview with Dr. Demas (2:39 min)

Able to communicate and cooperate with their peers – Students develop important social skills by collaborating with their peers in small groups to achieve a common goal such as writing or preparing a recipe.

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