Fooducation For All

Project Representative
Diego Ruete
Creation Date: 2004
Geographical Reach: Uruguay
Nature and number of beneficiaries: Every children from 2 years old
Contact

Fooducation For All

About the Project

Fooducation is a methodological project that starts by respecting the soil. It develops social and motor skills, attitudes, values and knowledge that lead to a healthy life style. Fooducation is the means to Petit Gourmet, this one being the organization itself.
As from 2004, Petit Gourmet (PG) has been meeting the needs of children during and after school hours. Growing seeds and cooking work miracles. PG also attends state schools that have children from low-income families, helping them to feel they can take action too, and has worked with other organizations interested in vegetable gardens and cooking.  In 2014 almost 5000 children got involved and we are working to almost duplicate the number for 2015.
Eating well and benefiting from a balanced diet while learning new concepts, attitudes and skills is an aim in itself. Children and adolescents find they are doing a serious job and at the same time they are enjoying themselves and pleasing their parents who see them happy and relaxed.
To provide quality learning, children should interpret life through their own experience, grasping what is really happening around them and transforming themselves accordingly. PG is an inclusive organization caring for specific needs which has made it possible to improve the quality of learning in children. They learn to be patient, how to work in teams and  to accept differences, thus focusing on attitudes. Also, they develop different skills and learn how to make the best use of the garden and kitchen tools, making them educationally profitable. Children are getting in touch with a healthy eating. They also learn that cooking is chemistry, sometimes physics, and sometimes maths, among other subjects. But most of all they enjoy the whole process and are reassured that they can achieve it. Parents are guided into sharing the activity with their children at home.

Context and Issue

PG helps children foster their self-esteem with hands-on activities and natural ingredients. It aims at achieving a sustainable high standard of education. By using concrete activities like planting or cooking, Fooducation is reconnecting society through the soil gaining a healthy life style. It also foresees obesity, diabetes, NCDs and heart diseases through those hands-on activities which foster children's self-esteem and promotes  knowledge laying the stress on the cycles of life. PG believes in education through experiences connected to real food and real life. PG believes in Fooducation. PG belief is FOODUCATION.

Solution and Impact

PG is community based. Children take their learning process home and parents are pressed to change their alimentary habits. We all know the impact our children have on us and we just have to take advantage of it. Children who attend state schools belong to low-income families many times; they must have a chance as well. Children who live in flats and do not have the foggiest idea of what a vegetable garden is should not miss the opportunity of learning about healthy food, where it comes from, why we should eat it, how to make it taste better: there is no such thing as this innovative project in our country.
Unique in Uruguay, community based, meeting the needs of both children belonging to low income families and children with no access to the roots of natural life, it achieves comprehensive results supported by parents, organizations and people at large. Furthermore, PG foresees health problems. Finally, it has just started fostering the interaction between convicts and society by means of plants. Fooducation is on the go!
PG encourages life-long learning. The education of healthy children who perform activities which provide opportunities to explore and foster understanding related to nourishment and plant origins. Children contribute their own ideas and undertake their own investigations which generally lead to the preparation of healthy dishes. Parents perceive the impact the children's activities have at home and start taking action, joining in the cooking chores. If families get involved, the whole community benefits from the experience in the long term.

Future Developments

In 2014 PG worked with 50 schools and other organizations that use fooducation as a way of introducing healthy habits for their students. Although it works a lot with private schools, the aim is to take fooducation to public schools all over the country, giving every child the chance to enjoy the real experience of growing and cooking their own food.
Our vision is to reach 10000 children during the year with a weekly fooducation workshop.
Though Uruguay is a small country, reaching every school is a difficult task. PG is already working with a public kindergarten from a low-income social stratum; two more are on the way to start the project next year.

Latest News

Media

- 2014/12/16

http://www.petitgourmet.edu.uy/?page_id=64

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