• Mealtimes: a healthy diet and being together

    Next we will have a look at mealtimes and their pedagogical foundation in Finnish early education.  

    In the video:

    • Balanced energy level throughout the day 
    • Mealtime is pedagogical time
    • Pedagogical consistency provides positive learning experiences 
    • Being together is learning together


    Mealtimes are much more than just eating. When we eat together with others, we also learn a lot about personal and planetary wellbeing and being together with others. Healthy dietary recommendations are followed by all ECEC centres to guarantee wellbeing and a balanced energy level for the whole day as well as to learn a healthy and sustainable lifestyle at an early age. A general principle is to make sure all children get proper and healthy food every day regardless of a family’s socioeconomic background. This reflects the values of Finnish early education. In Finland all daily meals are provided by ECEC centres, including special diets. In general, mealtimes are used as systematic learning situations, and the group's mealtime practices promote a positive attitude to food and different food cultures. Joint discussions promote team spirit while strengthening a socially sustainable culture of participation, cohesion and compassion. From the personnel, the working culture requires conscious and committed actions to support the opportunities for participation in daily decision-making. Mealtimes offer space to learn table manners and social interaction.