The needs that give Learn4Health its rationale are centrally situated within current European policies on health, nutrition, obesity prevention and the development of capacity to address those issues at the institutional and individual levels Learn4Health was created to develop skills, methods, collaborative approaches and to enhance food literacy and meet challenges of health, nutrition and obesity prevention through an interdisciplinary collaborative approach.
In the globalized food systems consumers, especially children, are increasingly disconnected from the understanding of how and where their food is produced. This has an impact on eating habits and food choices that might affect health, the environment and other ethical dilemmas such as animal welfare and fair trade. In this optic, some activities, i.e. gardening, may connect children closer to nature by teaching them to take care of our environment and creating understanding of the connection between nature and food.
To enhance the food literacy of children, Learn4Health has successfully developed, implemented and evaluated new and innovative objectives in relation to food, eating, nutrition and health. The activities combine practical and scientific knowledge and experience, placing the children in learning and teaching opportunities in everyday food contexts. This provides the teachers and pupils to work problem-based, providing real everyday food contexts and through co-creation, creating new possibilities, experiences and action competencies as for example farm-to-table approach through new skills, and methods. The pupils have also gained entrepreneurial skills, worked with gardening, kitchens, and other food related contexts, and the methods developed during the project period, have also included possibilities of combining Hands-on Food Activities with other school subjects. The project has successfully developed 8 Hands-on Food Activities. Further, the children have also been working with practitioners in the field of food and food systems, where local food professionals have provided the pupils with insight to i.e. farming. The combination of practice and research within everyday food contexts has proven to increase the food knowledge within the pupils, providing them with action competencies to act and react in a better, more sustainable and healthy way in regards to food and food surroundings now and in the future.
Based on the evaluations received, we can conclude that the project had a significant impact on the participants. More than 10.000 people have been reached through the project, 4 scientific conference papers have been published targeting practitioners and the didactical society, and several large-scale dissemination activities were made for the general public.