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O2 - School professional development of Pilot Training Course in Healthy Cooking


Vocational catering schools are now increasingly trying to offer various specializing addresses. In particular, the growing request for catering linked to wellness and healthy diet guidelines, requires specific training in this sector. Metabolic diseases, intolerance and allergies are currently relevant public health issues, due to the high incidence on the population. The Position Statement on Allergies, food intolerance and nutritional therapy of obesity and metabolic diseases of 2016, declares that the treatment of these pathologies is effective if it’s aimed at changing the lifestyle and, in particular, through the adoption of a healthy dietary regime not drastically restricted, but rather using food models having a cultural and traditional background, such as the Mediterranean one, and which do not differ much from what patients' preferences are.

In this sense, IO2 expected the development of a specialized Pilot Training Course for students who attended the last three years of their school path (16-18 years old). Students had the opportunity to acquire knowledge related to the culinary culture of the participating countries, enhanced transversal skills, developed theoretical technical skills, and deepened them through practical activity. In particular, they had the opportunity to increase and deepen their theoretical knowledge on metabolic diseases, allergies, and intolerance, to apply techniques and procedures for the production and processing of foods, to study their risks and benefits, and to acquire technical and professional skills. Through theoretical and practical lessons, students had the opportunity to interchange with their teachers and students from other countries, promoting the cultural "melting" of knowledge and practices. During the practical lessons, observing and reproducing the recipes, the real protagonists of the various meetings, the students developed the aptitude to cooperate in the kitchen labs, even in a new different context.
Besides, the course provided students with specific skills that allowed them to improve their job opportunities.
The Pilot Course laid the foundation for the development of a new school vocational curriculum in healthy cooking.