Teaching about food literacy can be linked to financial literacy in a number of ways. As students apply their understanding of food advertising and marketing to make healthier food choices and decisions, they must consider the factors over which they have control. This may include making the healthier choice(s) between foods that are available to them. An example of this would have students explore making healthier choices by analyzing personal food selection of foods that are available to them, practicing comparison shopping and choosing healthier options between similar products based on their budget, creating healthy menus on a budget and looking at different foods based on nutritional value and price. Understanding the role advertising plays in influencing their food choices is a powerful step to becoming savvy consumers and helps students identify ways of promoting healthier eating.1
Note: In teaching financial literacy knowledge and skills, the educator must keep in mind that many students come from families and backgrounds where financial realities may be a source of stress in their lives. Other students may come from families and backgrounds where there may not be positive role models for making sound financial decisions. Some faith traditions have specific beliefs surrounding financial concepts, which need to be considered in classroom instruction.
Educators are called upon to demonstrate sensitivity to the many financial circumstances with which students and their families may find themselves, and to the full range of students’ learning needs. When integrating financial literacy connected to food literacy, educators can reflect on the following guiding questions:
- How knowledgeable and confident am I in teaching topics relating to financial literacy?
- Do I understand and value the socio-economic background of my students, as well as their diversity?
- Do I use language and phrases when teaching financial literacy concepts that are unintentionally stigmatizing?
- How can I plan my instruction to ensure that it’s sensitive to students of various socio-economic backgrounds?
For additional information about integrating financial literacy into food literacy learning, consult Ophea’s Wallet Wellness resource.
1 Adapted from: Ophea. (2021). Wallet Wellness. Retrieved from: https://teachingtools.ophea.net/activities/wallet-wellness/connections-…