The Finnish Society for Food Education, Ruukku, is an expert organisation promoting and developing food education in Finland. Ruukku aims to improve sustainable wellbeing and health by increasing food knowledge and respect for food. The joy of food can be found by doing and experiencing food for yourself! The core values are sustainable wellbeing, participation, food joy and science-based information. The main target groups are food educators and professionals in food and education. The secondary target groups are children, adolescents and families. Ruukku implements food education projects, organizes courses, trainings and events and communicates actively about food educational themes. Ruukku welcomes as members all those persons, organisations, and societies who are interested in food education.
The Taste School
Ruukku provides food education mainly using the Taste School technique that is based on the Sapere food education method. Ruukku organizes courses, training and events and produces Taste School materials. The Taste School method is a positive way to explore the world of food and to familiarize oneself with new foods and ingredients. The method encourages the use of all five senses when familiarising with food. Using all five senses contributes to the overall experience of food, making tasting and eating more fun. The method highlights that we all have our unique ways of sensing food and that all experiences are equally correct. Ruukku is member of Sapere International network.
Tasty School project
Tasty School is a model for food education in primary schools. The method integrates different subjects and school meals and brings together teachers, pupils, food service personnel and specialists to develop food education. The aim is to find solutions and food joy, learn together and build well-being through food education. The project is based on the Finnish national curriculum and the recommendations for school meals. The Tasty School web page provides information and tools for inspiring food education. Tasty school “Maistuva koulu” is R&D project funded by Ministry of Social affairs and Health. The project is implemented in 2018-2020 together with University of Eastern Finland.
RuokaTutka is a multi-year campaign aimed at children and adolescents from early childhood education to upper secondary education. Secondary target groups are early childhood educators, teachers and parents. The campaign inspires children and adolescents to ask, investigate and understand what food is, where food comes from and how does it taste. In addition, the campaign gives food education tools for teachers. Materials are based on the curriculum for early childhood education, the national core curriculum and the principles of food education. The aim of the campaign is to promote healthy eating habits among children and adolescents. The funding comes from European Union School Fruit, Vegetable and Milk scheme and implemented by Finnish Food Authority, Communications Agency Cocomms, Finnish Society for Food Education Ruukku, University of Eastern Finland.
The Joy of Food for Everyone
The Finnish Society for Food Education and the Finnish Heart Association are developing food education methods for families with children and with foreign backgrounds. The project involves interventions in kindergartens, schools, and healthcare in Vantaa. The three-year project will be implemented within the framework of social marketing, so interventions and tools will be designed together with families and professionals. At the same time, valuable information is gathered to support other health promotion campaigns and projects. The tools and methods developed are distributed throughout the country through the Tasty School and Neuvokas perhe online services and in training for professionals. The project is implemented in 2020–2022 and funded by Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.