Turning School Cafeterias Into School Restaurants
The Cygnaeus Elementary School in Turku, Finland has strived for several years to improve the quality of school lunches by converting the building’s old cellar into a functional school cafeteria and later, into a school restaurant. Students are involved in the development of the school restaurant, with the interior design being chosen to suit the interests of the children. As a consequence, lunch has more value at the school and learning results are on the rise. The city’s top chefs have also been invited to dine at the school restaurant.. In this HundrED experiment, new ideas to improve the food will be trialed over the course of one year and both new and old solutions will be collected and packaged into a format that may be used in other schools.
What is the idea of the experiment?
Lunch is free in Finnish schools and is a key part of the growth and wellbeing of students. The lunch period teaches students lessons in health, manners and Finnish culture. Cygnaeus Elementary School has been developing school lunch for years now and the idea of HundrED is to document the practices that work and format them to share with others. The innovations involved in improving school lunch will be developed and trialed.
Is this a new experiment or is this based on an existing one?
Some of the ideas are old and some are completely new.
How will the experiment be scheduled and how will it be put into practice?
During the Fall of 2016 we will format and replicate practices and ideas that schools have in terms of lunch periods and will create operative models that will be tested in the Spring of 2017.
What are the goals you are looking to achieve with the experiment?
The goal is to get students to eat healthier and improve their learning experience with good nutrition. Good nutrition and manners as well as togetherness during the lunch period are important moments in the daily life of a child. The experiment intends to improve the perception students have of school lunches.
Describe why you feel it is meaningful to be a part of HundrED.
Finland has one of the world’s best school food systems and by being a part of HundrED we will be able to develop it further and share our ideas globally.