Key Fact 2

Teachers' Guide

This is the main guide for Food and farming for children aged 8-11 years.

Key Fact 1

Food is produced all around the world.

Key Fact 2

Food is processed on different levels to make it edible and safe.

Farm to fork challenge (8-11 years)

Do you know what happens to your food from the farm to your fork?

Cool creations

Non-cook recipes for the primary school classroom.

Videos: Cool creations

See how to make some recipes that do not need any cooking.

Hot and happening

Recipes that involve the use of the grill or hob.

Videos: Hot and happening

See how to cook delicious hot meals.

Brilliant baking

Baking recipe for the primary classroom.

Videos: Brilliant baking

See how to bake a range of recipes.

Where do my meals come from? (8-11 years)

Do you know where the food from your meals comes from?

Videos: Farming

See how crops and animals are farmed in the UK.
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Key Fact 2: Food is processed on different levels to make it edible and safe.

a) To know that food goes through basic processes before it reaches us.

Write the following foods on the board:

  • Milk;
  • Bread;
  • Potatoes;
  • Meat;
  • Fish;
  • Vegetables.

Question the children:

  • Where does each of these foods start?
  • What happens to them before they reach us in the shops?  What processes have they been through?

Show children the MilkFrom wheat to bread, Fishing and Poultry farming Video clips to increase their understanding of what happened to these foods before they reach us.  Question the children to ensure they understand the stages, e.g. Where was the milk to start with? What happened next?

You could use the Poultry farming PowerPoint to take a closer look at how chicken and other poultry is farmed.

Demonstrate the Farm to fork challenge (5-7) Interactive activity to the class.  You may wish to use the 5-7 version to begin with and then demonstrate the 8-11 version.  Alternatively, you could demonstrate the 5-7 activity and allow the children to complete the 8-11 activity unassisted.

Question the children on the stages each food goes through to ensure they understand.  For a list of the correct stages see the Farm to fork Guide 300.

b) To know that at home we process food to make it edible and safe.

You will need 5 foods in a shopping bag:


  • Flour;
  • A carrot and/or a swede;
  • A potato;
  • Cubed beef in a sealed container;
  • A box of eggs.


Alternatively, write each food name on a card label and place them in the bag.

Take each item of food, or card label, out of the shopping bag in turn and question the children:

  • Can we eat this now? (No.)
  • What do we have to do before we can eat it? ( It may have to be washed, peeled, combined with other ingredients, cooked.)
  • Why do we have to wash ingredients? (To remove any dirt or insects and ensure they are clean.)
  • Why do we have to cook foods such as eggs and meat? (To get rid of any harmful bacteria and make them safe to eat.)
  • Which of these ingredients have you eaten?
  • Can you give some examples of dishes which can be made with them?
You might like to show the Processing fish video clip which shows how a whole fish is processed to become a breaded fillet.

Show children some or all of the following videos:

  • Cornish pasties
  • Shepherd’s pie
  • Shortbread
  • Rhubarb and orange crumble
  • Soda bread

Question the children:

  • What ingredients were used?
  • What happened to each ingredient?
  • What processes does each ingredient have to go through before it is eaten?

Give children a copy of the What’s happening? 307 Worksheet so they can record how one of the dishes was made.

Make one of the foods above with the children.  As the cooking work takes place, question the children about the processes the ingredients are going through.

For support setting up cooking lessons, see the Cooking module.

c) To know that food is processed on a large scale in places such as restaurants and factories to make it edible and safe to eat. 

Question the children:

  • Apart from at home, where else can you get ready-to-eat food? (Restaurants, café, bakeries, sandwich shops.)
  • Where have you been to eat food?
  • How do you think it is different preparing food in a restaurant, school canteen, bakery or café than it is at home? (Much more is made; fridges, ovens, grills are much bigger; machines may be used in the preparation or packing.)

Show children the Where does it come from? Video clip.  Talk to the children about the clip:

  • What did the children eat?
  • Why were they surprised when their food first arrived? ( It had not been prepared or cooked.)
  • How was the food prepared?
  • Have you ever eaten a pizza in a restaurant?  Did you see it being made?

Explain that restaurants need to have lots of ingredients prepared because they have to make a lot of food.  They need to have large ovens and special equipment to cook so much food.

Explain that although lots of restaurants in the UK serve dishes which originate in different countries, many of the ingredients used can be produced in the UK.

Ask the children to draw a map of their local area or high street and draw and label all the places where they can buy ready to eat food and give some examples of the food available. 

Ask the children to share their work.  Talk about the places the children have mapped:

  • Which places have you mapped?
  • Who has eaten at these places?
  • What food did you have?

Show the Cheese making Video clip and the From wheat to bread Video clip.  Discuss with the children what they see happening in the clips and ask them what the differences are between making something at home, e.g. bread, and its being made in a factory? (Amount, size and quantity of equipment.)


Key Fact 2 Plenary

Recap with the children.

Ask the children to give some examples of foods we buy and talk about the processes they go through before they reach us, e.g. milk – the cow is milked, the milk is taken away to be treated, the milk is bottled or put into cartons.

Ask the children to think about what they have cooked in school or something they or a parent/carer makes at home.  Ask them to talk through the processes involved for each ingredient and the overall dish.

Ask children to name places where they can get ready-to-eat food, e.g. restaurants, bakeries.  Talk about the differences between preparing and cooking at home compared with how it is produced on a large scale, e.g. in restaurants.

Further activities

Create a production line to make some food for an event at school, e.g. class party.

Arrange a visit to a local restaurant or factory to learn more about large scale production.


Downloadable resources