30.5.2024 / Education

Vegemi’s Food Education and Teaching Model Also Utilises the Sapere Method

Vegemi’s mission is to increase children’s and families’ awareness of the health benefits of fruits and vegetables, as well as the desire to adopt healthy food choices. The Vegemi food education method, developed alongside the application, is based on nutritional science and proven behavioral sciences: the theory of self-efficacy and social learning. Learning through play, gamification, and the joy of learning are also important cornerstones of our teaching at Vegemi. In addition, Vegemi also relies on the sensory food education model of the Sapere method, which we will delve into a bit more in the following section.

Developed by a French chemist in the 1970s with French roots, the Sapere method is an innovative, sensory-based approach to food education that encourages children to explore food using all their senses. The method emerged from the need to increase children’s awareness and appreciation of food at a time when industrially prepared foods were becoming more common, and traditional food culture was at risk of disappearing. Since then, the method has spread widely across Europe and beyond and is used particularly in schools and kindergartens as part of food education.

The method’s name is derived from the French expression “Savoir Apprécier et Respecter les Propriétés des Aliments et Relier aux Émotions,” which means “Know, appreciate, and respect the properties of food and connect them to emotions.” The Sapere method aims to create a positive relationship with food and diversify children’s eating habits through experiential learning.

Central to Food Joy

It is known that many of our eating habits are carried from childhood into adulthood – what you learn young, you master when old! It is often easier to learn new habits as a child than later as an adult. Naturally, the tastes and textures of vegetables may initially feel unfamiliar, so patience and repeated tastings are often needed – but without forcing, with a joyful approach! When a child gets to explore vegetables at their own pace and taste them as they wish, vegetable consumption increases and food waste decreases.

The Sapere method has proven to be an effective way to improve children’s eating habits and increase their awareness of food diversity. Many teachers and parents have reported that children participating in Sapere-related activities are more open to trying new foods and eat more diversely. The more a child participates in food preparation, procurement, and cultivation, the more they become interested and learn to appreciate food.

Sapere emphasises above all the joy of eating. A child observes and learns about food-related matters strongly through all their senses, and playing, exploring, and genuine curiosity are natural ways for a child to learn. Through the use of digital XR applications, image recognition, and multisensory activities, Vegemi aims not only at health benefits but also at the joy of eating and fun, motivating learning that involves the child. Sapere is indeed also about involving the child in the activity.


Vegemi Supporting the Well-being of the Whole Family

With Vegemi, children explore, see, taste, try, and hear things related to food, vegetables, and health in an inspiring and encouraging way through play. We hope that children learn to appreciate healthy food and eat more diversely. Vegemi brings the crunchy vegetable world closer to children and the whole family in a gentle and joyful way: eating vegetables, fruits, and berries gives Vegemi superpowers, but we humans know that research evidence on the connections between vegetables, fruits, berries, and health is very strong! With Vegemi, families can improve their plate model with joy and thus enhance well-being and good energy!

Gathering around Vegemi with the whole family or otherwise having a shared meal offers a good opportunity to talk with the child about food and its origins. Vegemi aims not only to increase vegetable consumption but also to promote a positive and natural attitude towards food. Food is not just good or bad, healthy or unhealthy, but it can be much more!

Vegemi was founded in Finland, and also partakes in collaboration with the SSO supermarket chain.

The project is financed as part of the measures implemented by the European Union due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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