The overall objective of the FINE! project is to contribute to achieve the goals of EU food safety policy, Health 2020 Framework, European Food and Nutrition Action Plan 2015–WHO, Childhood Obesity Action Plan 2014, referring also to the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Good nutrition is a focal point for the growth of children, especially in the 0/3 age range, is a key to sustainable development (Goal 2/2015 SDGs) and to an active and healthy life.
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Food and nutrition are important from many points of view:
-Health and prevention of diseases and obesity, connected with the costs reduction of medical expenses and reducing health inequities,
-Proper physical and mental development,
-Reducing Food Waste and Recycling: around 89 million tons - 80 kg per capita - of food are wasted annually in EU, the associated costs estimated is 143 billion euro. In school canteens, 20 to 50% of the prepared food is waste: preschools could rethink their canteen and recycle the leftovers models,
-Lunch time is a social, relational activity and an intercultural vehicle, showing the diversity as an enriching value, with a positive impact on children.
Providing nutritional training to preschools staff is important, because they bear a great responsibility in ensuring that children understand the importance of good nutrition and can benefit from it; providing healthy option, healthy food choices and correct portion sizes: teachers, catering staff, school managers and healthcare providers must cooperate to create a healthy school environment that promotes healthy eating and physical activity. They also have a key role in nutrition and healthy lifestyle education of parents and families, including related issues with specific focus on lower socio-economic groups.
The direct beneficiaries are preschools (for children aged 0/6) and their staff including managers, coordinators, educators, teachers, kitchen staff, support staff. There are about 150 participants involved in the Training Activities, in their countries or abroad.
The FINE! project aims to:
- stimulate awareness, knowledge, skills of participants on the main issues of nutrition and health of children, social-relational aspects of food in childhood, role of preschools in children's development and their successful lives;
- motivate to the respect for the environment;
- motivate preschools managers to implement strategies for the modernization and improvement of canteen system, food education, food waste prevention and recycling;
- build up a dialogue on healthy nutrition in early childhood education among organizations, decision-making bodies, beneficiaries including families;
- increase the European dimension of partners and participants, including foreign language learning;
-share the innovative and successful experiences among partnership;
-spread EU action plans, strategies, resources and materials and best practices;
-improve cooperation and networking at European level between early childhood providers.
The project methodology is based on mutual learning between partners and exchange of good practices, thanks to 5 Short-term Training Activities, one in each partner country (Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Bulgaria and Croatia), 2 Transnational project meetings, self-learning.
Each training includes study visits in nurseries and kindergarten; observation; presentation and comparison of national canteen models, diets, national and local policies for food education and nutrition, obesity prevention; nutritional support strategies for disadvantaged children; prevention of food waste and recycling rules and strategies; exchange of best practices; professional meetings and seminars; workshops; professional discussion between professionals.
The project outcomes are collected in a Final Publication and in a RECIPE BOOK, a collection of the best healthy, balanced, tasty and appetizing recipes for children.
The Recipe Book, such as the project outcomes, will be disseminated thanks to press-conferences, public events in each partner country, and dissemination actions at European level.
-on participants: the growth of knowledge on children's nutrition, increased EU dimension, motivation, open mind;
-on participant organizations: the improvement of companies' strategies, methodologies, activities, importing new ideas in their strategic plan; adopting FINE! training outcomes in daily activities, improvement of quality of early childhood services;
-on the target group (children and families): a healthier and quality preschool, knowledge of families on children's nutritional needs, healthy recipes that they can cook at home;
-at territorial level: increased knowledge on the issues, strengthened network among partner organizations, their stakeholders and public decision-making bodies, to stimulate the debate on project issues and to stimulate the pro-activity of public administration.