Nourishing Schools is an initiative by the Ashoka organisation to address malnutrition in Indian children. NS targets government schools to help under-risk children through enlightening them about the concepts of health and nutrition. To make a serious topic like health appealing to children, we designed an interactive kit to teach about nutrition and its effects on health with the help of fun games.
We went back in time to search for the first ideas of food and nourishment. The ‘seed’ as a starting point took root into our concept from a biblical reference we found- “I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of the earth and every tree with seeds in its fruit. You shall have them for food”
We grow from the food we eat, emerging, like a plant from the seed. We wanted to convey through their logo, this universal idea of growth, as seen in the seedling, and visualise this process onto an effective medium. The emerging plant was made abstract, of parts coming together to form a whole, like a tangram that grows into countless different forms as its components re-arrange. Much like ourselves when we eat, we break food down into parts, assimilate it, and grow.
Orange, for the warmth of life, and green, a sign of positivity and growth, were the chosen colours. These colours, with the help of Pantone codes, can be easily reproduced with consistency.
Rather than preach, we wanted children to discover nutritional concepts as part of their play. An effective way to put across these important ideas was to incorporate these themes into the games.
In the card game Pehchan Kaun, children are required to guess the food based on clues that describe its utility. In Friends and Foes, children learn to pair ailments caused due to deficiencies with the corresponding sources of food to cure them.
As points are to be won, children are motivated to play repeatedly and in the process, inculcate useful knowledge.
To empower instructors without prior training, we designed a comprehensive manual to give them a deeper understanding of nutrition, health, food preparation, hygiene and preservation. A home-remedies chart for common ailments and a recipe book to make healthy locally-sourced food were also included.