Newsletter No 2 - Autumn 2008
we are very pleased to welcome to the second edition of our newsletter which provides information about the Leonardo Da Vinci Project “Child Oriented Catering". The focus of the project is the transnational development and testing of new educational content and methods for home economics, catering and child care with a specific focus on children in their early years of education and care. This newsletter aims to inform you about the activities and outcomes of our ongoing activities.
“Child Oriented Catering” or CHOCA, is a project funded by the EU’s Leonardo da Vinci Programme for 2 years, between October 2006 and September 2008. The aim in one sentence is: Transnational development and testing of new educational content and methods for home economics, catering and child care.
There is widespread concern all across Europe about inadequate diet patterns and overweight children. Considerable work has been done on schools, but little initiative has been taken so far to develop new concepts for day-care centres and nursery facilities. At the same time the demand for high quality in these facilities is increasing.
The project partnership was 11 partners from seven countries: Austria, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweden and United Kingdom, with
specialists from daycare centres, schools, educational training centres, professional institutions and universities. Working together, the partnership developed new qualification modules and new teaching concepts on the subject.
These have been tested and integrated into their respective educational systems as appropriate.
The target groups of the project are teachers, trainers and child care practitioners who are involved or passionate about child-related home economics and educational science. CHOCA’s new training materials will help professionals to meet the specific
methodological challenges of implementing a “healthy diet” in daycare facilities. It will also encourage dialogue amongst participating organisations and their wider networks regarding the need for new daycare infrastructure and state-of-the-art orientation in the teaching modules concerning nutritional basics.
The innovative element in this project lies in the systematic development and use of qualification modules about child-focused nutrition in home economics and educational science. These modules provide teachers and trainers in the field of child-orientated catering and educational science with individualised methods according to their pecific needs.
The following products were created by the project:
• Transnational materials collection about child-orientated catering in home economics and educational science.
• Development of 3 new qualification modules for child-adequate nutrition in home economics and educational science,
• Examples of project inductions in daycare centres (practical guides)
• Multilingua training journal published
• Project website with downloadable resources
A number of specialist seminars have been held to disseminate the results:
A full-scale transnational meeting took place in the town of Eger, in Hungary, in June 2008.
The topic was healthy nourishment, and how to get children accustomed to it from a very early age.
The local team summarized the Hungarian perspective on child-orientated catering and public catering and described the integrated principles of child-orientated catering. There was an analysis of traditional Hungarian food and how it is changing, discussion on the basic principles of nourishment and food hygiene, and work on development of qualifications and examinations in child-orientated catering.
The Hungarian version of the CHOCA handbook is finished, and was precsented at the meeting.
The international speakers at the event were:
• Katrin Schürmann of Berufsbildungsstaette Westmünsterland GmbH, the promoting organisation for the CHOCA project. Katrin outlined the work done to date.
• Prof. Dr. Helmut Heseker, of the University of Paderborn, and Vice-President of the Association of Nourishment emphasized that in Europe “obese children” is a common occurrence. He gave detailed examples of the issues involved, and discussed the variation in nutrition by socioeconomic range
A CHOCA seminar was held in the Municipality of Gävle in Sweden, in September 2008.
The target group for the invitation to the seminar were pre-school teachers, pre-school kitchen personal, catering firms, the University of Gävle (pre-school teacher program as well as nurse programme) as well as cost controllers and others with interest in the subject.
• Britt-Marie S Torstensson opened the seminar with a presentation of the CHOCA project
• Anna-Lena Wickström, manager at the Banvakten pre-school, presented the SAPERE method that they use in their daily work to encourage children of 0-6 years, and their parents, to eat healthy food. Considerable discussion followed. One of the modules in the CHOCA Child Care course focuses on this method.
• Eva–Lena Thunberg from Hushållningssällskapet, presented the “SMARTA Val” concept, a way to encourage children to make a better choice of food. She described the work done to date with producers of ecological food, including ways to keep down costs when using ecological food for preparation in pre-school kitchen. This was followed by discussion on how to work with local food producers for pre-school food preparation.
• Annika Lundqvist, Head of the new International Office in the Municipality of Gävle, presented the new project and explained how the Office will work as a support for EU projects. This led to discussion on ways to continue the CHOCA work, such as a mobility project to exchange experiences internationally with other partners in the CHOCA project.
The final CHOCA event was a workshop in Paderborn, Germany, in October 2008, where experts were able to discuss the project’s results.
There were 60 participants, including teachers from vocational training centres, technical colleges, personnel from child- care centres, caterers and university staff.
Three lectures were given at the event:
• Prof. Helmut Heseker, of the University of Paderborn, spoke about quality standards for nutritional in general and child oriented nutrional in particular
• Dr. Danielle Schronen, of Caritas Luxembourg, outlined the difficulties faced by childcare centres when it comes to child nutrition, with the tensions between budgetary requirements, parental expectations and quality standards for children’s meals.
• Anke Oepping, of the University of Paderborn, talked about practical issues about child nutrition. This input was particularly valued by the staff of childcare centres and caterers.
The material developed by the CHOCA partnership is a first step in the right direction towards improved education and provision of good food. All the materials are available, at no charge, on the CHOCA website: