New children’s book provides food for thought

A fun educational children’s book ‘The Tipperary Food Tour’ has been launched by Tipperary food producers, a network of the county’s artisan food and beverage producers that was established in 2008.

The book was launched with a special dinner featuring entirely Tipperary produce in Roly’s Bistro’s new private dining venue, Saint John’s Hall on Dublin’s Clyde Road on November 21. A captivating read, the animated publication brings local artisan food production to life for children.

The book is brimful of food, facts and fun to encourage children to engage with local artisan food and how it is produced. It takes children on a journey, learning about the provenance of great locally produced food as well as the importance of a healthy balanced diet.

Importance of good nourishing food

The story follows a group of children exploring the “Premier County”, where they visit 32 local producers and collect enough food ahead of the long table dinner at the Rock of Cashel.

‘The Tipperary Food Tour’ is suitable to be read by children aged seven upwards and is a fun story, beautifully illustrated, highlighting the importance of good nourishing food through experiential learning.

Commenting at the launch of ‘The Tipperary Food Tour’ children’s book, Con Traas, chairman of the Tipperary food producers’ network and owner of The Apple Farm in Cahir, Co. Tipperary, said that they were delighted to launch the book, increasing awareness of local quality food among young children.

The idea of the book came from the food producers themselves who wanted to instil in their own children the love and value of great locally produced food, and they did this by storytelling.

“Together with food writer and children’s author Fiona Dillon, ‘The Tipperary Food Tour’ was created. The book really enables children to learn more about what makes artisan food and beverages so special, encouraging them to try new foods, and helping them to appreciate the value of a nutritious balanced diet,” Con said.

An asset for parents and teachers

“More so now than ever, people need to be conscious of reducing their carbon footprint, and by buying locally it enables a very effective way of doing this. Education is key and the earlier we can highlight this with children the better.

“The book is a great asset for teachers and parents in order to really explain the environmental benefits of buying locally.”

Last November, 30 primary schools in Tipperary experienced the food tour through a specially commissioned series of school visits, incorporating a virtual reality 3D tour of farms and food producers, as well as visits to schools by food producers and a food ambassador.

The schools also received free books and school workbooks to add value to lessons about local foods. It is hoped that more funding will be earmarked this year to continue to roll out the project into more schools.

‘The Tipperary Food Tour’ book was printed in Ireland, developed, published and distributed by the Tipperary food producers. The RRP is €8.99 and it is available at: www.tipperaryfoodproducers.ie.