Where can I find information about food?
Image: Müsli mit Kiwischeiben und Cranberries auf einem mit Löffel – Aufsicht by Marco Verch on Flickr.
Entry last updated: 12/06/20
Food gives us energy, it helps us grow and it tastes good. We can get sick if we don't eat the right amount or right kind of food, or if we don't prepare it properly. On this page you'll find information about the history and culture of food, where to find recipes and food safety.
History of food
People who lived in the stone age were hunter-gatherers. They only ate what they could hunt, or plants that they could find in the wild, like berries and seeds. Later people started to grow or cultivate food and this changed the kind of food that people ate.
This website has heaps of information about food, including Stone Age food and the crops that early farmers planted. It also explains how being able to grow food changed how people lived.
- Enter the keyword 'food' into the search box at the top of the page.
- Scroll down the page to Stone-Age food to read how early man found food and what they ate.
- Choose First farmers to find how early man discovered growing plants.
- There are other links on this page like What is food?, Nutrition, and the Energy pyramid that you will find useful to know more about this topic.
Tips: Search words, or keywords, are the most important words in our question. Usually it’s better to leave out small words like ‘the’, ‘a’ and ‘of’ and just choose the main ones, eg [food]. We can always change our keywords or add more if we need to.
Te Ara is an excellent starting point for all questions about New Zealand Aotearoa, including the history of food in New Zealand.
- Go to Sections on the home page, then select Daily Life, Sport and Recreation.
- The link called Food and Drink will take you to the history of food eaten by Māori and the early settlers.
- Explore Māori foods- kai Māori and Māori feasts and ceremonial eating-hākari about early Māori food customs like hangi, growing plants, and the changes that took place when the Europeans arrived.
- The link called Food is about the history of foods like meat, dairy, fruit and vegetables in the diet of New Zealand.
Tips: We like sites like this because they’re reliable. You can tell because of their web address – they have either .govt or .edu, meaning they are from government or educational organisations. They’re also New Zealand sites, so relevant for us.
Food around the world
Every country and culture has its own cuisine, cooking traditions and rules about food.
This website is managed by a teacher, who is also a parent. Besides providing tips for family holidays, this website has lots of interesting facts about countries around the world, including traditional food.
- Go to the tab called Countries and select from the countries listed.
- You will find facts about food towards the end of each page.
- As an example, if you select Argentina, you will read about asado and dulce de leche.
- France will explain French foods like baguette and ratatouille.
Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.
Food and nutrition
Nutrition is the science of how our bodies use nutrients like vitamins, fats, carbohydrates and minerals from food to give us energy. To be healthy you need to eat a balanced diet that gives you all the nutrients in the right amount.
This EPIC database has lots of information on history, art, geography, science and health as well as food and nutrition.
- Go to the topic on Health and find Food and Nutrition.
- This will lead you to Food Plate, Healthy Diet and Nutrition which is about selecting the right amount of different foods to keep you healthy and strong.
- You will also find information on topics like Organic food and Veganism .
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6 pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.
This site has a special section for kids on the human body, staying healthy and lots of yummy recipes including vegetarian and lactose free recipes (the sugar found in milk).
- Go to the tab for Kids and select Staying healthy, then select the link Fabulous Food.
- Read the articles called Go, Slow and Whoa! A Kids Guide to Eating Right and MyPlate Food Guide to understand more about healthy diets.
- Go to Recipes & Cooking for Kids to learn how to make a healthy meal. You will also find links to Vegetarian and Lactose-Intolerance Recipes for kids.
Tips: Many web pages have links to further information or to other recommended sites. Following these links is a great way to find out more. This searching method is called “pearl growing” because you are picking up pieces of sand to make a beautiful pearl!
This website sounds like the website above, and it also has information about healthy eating and living for children. You find out about food groups, fast foods, food labels, ideas for your lunch box and more.
- Select Food from the list of topics on the home page, then select from the range of topics that cover a healthy lunch box, food groups, food labels or anything else you need to find out about.
- You can also read about how much water, salt and sugar your body needs.
Tips: This website is from the Women’s and Children’s Health Network in Australia. Despite the .com, it’s a government site with the South Australian government logo at the bottom of the page.
Food safety is about being safe while cleaning, cooking and storing food to protect it from diseases. It also means reading labels for people with food allergies.
This government website helps businesses produce and prepare food that's safe to eat. It also has tips on how families can develop food safety habits.
- Select the link called Food Safety at home to find what is safe and what is not safe to eat, and other topics like food allergies, food preservation and more.
Your school library or local public library will have lots of books about food and recipes. Here are some examples to start with:
- Chef Gino's taste test challenge : 100+ winning recipes that any kid can cook by Gino Campagna
- Food around the world by Moira Butterfield and Izzi Howell
- Healthy eating by Gemma McMullen
- What's on my plate? by Jennifer Boothroyd.