Denmark’s budding foodies
Every summer, so-called “Food Schools” are held around Denmark to encourage children to cook and take an interest in nutrition.
They are run by volunteers and organised by the 4H organisation in partnership with the Danish Agriculture and Food Council (DAFC) and the supermarket chain Rema 1000. As a non-profit organisation, 4H is committed to providing children and young people with an interest in nature, animals and cooking with leisure-time activities.
This year’s Food Schools have just been voted a definite hit by its customers – the children and their parents. Some 97% reported that they enjoyed the Food School and 80% of parents said that their children had either started to cook more at home or were expected to do so. The feedback also shows that the many volunteers who help to run the schools have more than delivered on what the schools set out to do.
“The purpose of the Food Schools is to provide children between the ages of 8 and 12 with an insight into healthy food, diet and exercise in a fun, educational and proactive way,” says Line Munk Damsgaard, Head of Nutrition at DAFC and the Food Schools’ Project Manager. “It’s also clear that teaching children more about diet and nutrition has a beneficial effect on eating habits at home. In fact, almost 30% of parents indicate that they have become more aware of eating healthily after their child has attended one of our Food Schools.”
Denmark’s Food Schools have been running for 13 years. This year, 125 were held across Denmark and were run by 500 volunteers. They usually attract around 2,000 children. To underline their importance, one of the schools was visited this year by Denmark’s Environment and Food Minister, Esben Lund Larsen and the CEO of Danish Agriculture and Food Council, Karen Hækkerup.
Next year’s Food Schools will focus on food waste and how to reduce it. In particular, students will learn how to prepare meals using leftovers.