The Big Eat Out

The Big Eat Out gives pupils opportunities to learn a range of skills, including:

  • helping others in the community by preparing food for them; and
  • participating in a shared meal with friends and adults from their community.

Resources for this activity include:

  • a framework for planning the event;
  • a certificate for participants;
  • a logo for invitations and promotional materials; and
  • a planting calendar that shows when to plant vegetables needed for the event.

We hope you will use these resources to plan The Big Eat Out in your school (socially distanced, if necessary).

Eating socially has many benefits. University of Oxford research, Social Eating Connects Communities, found that communal eating increases wellbeing and social bonding, enhancing our sense of contentedness and embedding us in our community.

People of all ages eat better when they share a meal with others. They tend to eat more fruit, vegetables and other nutrient-rich foods and consume less fried foods and fizzy drinks. Eating together gives young children the chance to develop their vocabulary and learn to communicate better. Sharing meals helps to develop children’s social skills as they learn from behaviour modelled by others.

Shared mealtimes give children and adolescents opportunities to listen and learn how to interact in conversation. They can develop empathy and understanding as they listen to and discuss others’ views and perspectives. Importantly, shared meals make us feel connected to others.