It is unclear to many children where food comes from and what it contains. Promoting a healthy way of living is an important factor in preventing child and adolescent obesity. The WeValueFood project funded by the European Institute of Innovation & Technology’s EIT Food reviews effective food education methods around Europe. The Trip to the Store model, developed by the S group and Finfood, was selected for the project from among more than 350 food education methods.
“It’s great that this Finnish food education model is receiving international recognition. The Trip to the Store operations are an excellent example of cooperation in teaching children healthy eating and everyday food skills in an inspiring way. In addition to developing the selections of grocery stores and modifying products and recipes, healthy food choices can be promoted through teaching,” says Sampo Päällysaho, S Group’s SVP of Groceries.
“There is a real demand for food education. During the Children's Rights Week, we want to highlight food education as a tool for a more sustainable future. The basic idea of the WeValueFood food education project is that by making children and young people interested in food we can also raise awareness and valuation of food”, according to docent of nutrition science and university lecturer Maijaliisa Erkkola from the University of Helsinki.
“The Trip to the Store is a practical way of learning more about day-to-day phenomena. It is wonderful that we, as food educators, can now come together and take Finnish food education abroad through this project,” says Executive Director Anni-Mari Syväniemi from Finfood.
Coronavirus moves the trips to online stores – the effectiveness of the method is now being studied in pilot schools in Finland and Poland
The effectiveness of the Trip to the Store method is now being studied in pilot schools in Finland and Poland, coordinated by the University of Helsinki. This study will review whether applying this food education method increases the interest and understanding of 3rd – 5th grade pupils regarding food. The objective is to also introduce the Trip to the Store model to other European countries.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the trips will be implemented as online grocery shopping and via a remote connection with the store manager of the nearest S-market store.
“The study is now being conducted both in urban and rural regions. The teachers and the children have sent us enthusiastic feedback concerning the methods,” says Maijaliisa Erkkola.
Trip to the Store
Sampo Päällysaho, SVP Groceries, S Group, [email protected], tel. 010 768 0665
Maijaliisa Erkkola, docent of nutrition science and university lecturer, University of Helsinki Department of Food and Nutrition, [email protected], tel. +358 50 416 0389
Anni-Mari Syväniemi, Executive Director, [email protected], +358 50 511 8909
Trip to the Store study module (in Finnish): https://www.ruokatieto.fi/retki-kauppaan
The WeValueFood project reviews effective food education models
WeValueFood is a project funded by EIT Food, comprising 14 universities and organisations around Europe. Finland is represented by the University of Helsinki. The project reviewed effective food education tools and methods applied in Europe, and discovered more than 350 of them. The objective is to develop a platform that holds all the tools collected through this project, allowing the food educators to find an effective tool that suits their own search parameters.
EIT Food is a major European development project of food production that integrates businesses, education and research to find solutions to the global challenges related to food. Its purpose is to develop a sustainable, healthy and reliable food system through new innovations and multifaceted cooperation.
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