Food route - a journey through food

Food route 7-9 years

Resources to support children up to the age of 9.

Food route 11-12 years

Resources to support children up to the age of 12.

Food route 14 years

Resources to support children up to the age of 14.

Food route 16+ years

Resources to support children up to the age of 16+.

Food route – a journey through food 

Food route: a journey through food is a range of colourful age-appropriate resources designed and developed to enable young people to gain food and active lifestyle related skills and knowledge. They were originally launched in 2009 and have been updated to reflect the Core competences for children and young people aged 5-16 years which were published in 2014. (NOTE: Materials have been updated in light of The Eatwell Guide.)

Food route has been developed to:

  • enable children and young people at primary and secondary schools to develop skills and knowledge around diet and health, food safety, cooking (food preparation and handling), consumer awareness and active lifestyles;
  • support independent self-study so pupils can learn and test their knowledge at their own speed;
  • support the curricular across the UK;
  • be used by parents/carers, as well as teachers.

To help children and young people engage with the Core Competences, a series of focus groups and workshops were arranged throughout the UK. The original competences were rephrased in an age appropriate way, and tested to ensure that children understand what they mean and how they can be achieved. The focus group session informed the language and design of the resources.

Background: Core Competences

The Core Competences were originally launched in December 2007 by the Food Standards Agency and the British Nutrition Foundation,, and have since been reviewed and updated in 2014 by Public Health England, FSA Northern Ireland, FSA Scotland, the Welsh Government and the British Nutrition Foundation. They comprise a progressive series of food, nutrition and activity related competence statements for children and young people aged 5 to 16+ years. The competences are based around five themes: diet and health, consumer awareness (shopping), cooking, food safety and physical activity.

The Core Competences can help young people to choose, cook and eat safe, healthy food and lead an active lifestyle. They are set out as a framework of core skills and knowledge, providing essential building blocks so that parents/carers, schools and community-based organisations can provide young people with a consistent set of food skills and knowledge.

Because the competences are progressive and cumulative from one age stage to the next, they can help young people make healthier choices that benefit them now and in later life. Importantly, the competences apply to all learning experiences, both within and outside the school setting, and can be met at home or through other activities. For further information, go to:


Food route: a journey through food was originally launched in 2009 by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) working in collaboration with the British Nutrition Foundation. The materials were updated in 2016 to account for the Eatwell Guide.

Thank you to the following schools for their advice in the development of the original Food Route resources:

  • England: Oak View Primary and Nursery School
  • Northern Ireland: Gracehill Primary School
  • Scotland: Stenhousemuir Primary School
  • Wales: Waunarlwydd Primary School

Published by Public Health England 2015 / 2016

Design by British Nutrition Foundation and ingenious

© Crown copyright 2015 / 2016