As part of the school nutrition reform initiated by First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska, a series of trainings is ongoing for educators-cooks of vocational education institutions who will pass on their knowledge to cooks of canteens in schools and preschool institutions. 30 educators-cooks from the Kyiv region are taking part in "Changes and modern trends in catering in institutions of general secondary education" seminar at the Boryspil Vocational Technical College.
The event is supported by the National Administration for Education and Youth Affairs of the Republic of Estonia (NarNo), the team of the National Catering Association and the “EU4Skills: Better Skills for Modern Ukraine” project. Preliminary training took place in Lviv, where 50 educators-cooks attended the training course.
The seminar consists of a theoretical and a practical part.
The participants will learn about new technological standards in school food and the principles of implementing the reform, consider ways to automate processes in a modern kitchen. During the practical part, they familiarize themselves with the newest equipment of the school canteen and prepare meals with their own hands using new high-tech methods, learn ways to diversify the menu in modern conditions.
The best chefs and the team of the National Catering Association demonstrated by their own example the speed, quality and possibility of cooking large volumes of various dishes using steam convection technology.
The participants acquire the necessary practical skills to become coaches and teach canteen chefs the basics of proper nutrition.
"Our task is to train future "agents of change" who will retrain cooks in their cities and communities to work in thousands of Ukrainian schools and preschools," said Olena Zelenska.
She reminded that since the beginning of the new academic year, the country has returned to the implementation of the school meal reform, which started in January 2022 and was put on hold due to the Russian invasion.
"Our children study and acquire knowledge in difficult wartime, so they should have the best conditions for their health. And this is primarily food. When we launched the reform, we planned that it should be healthy and nutritious, and cooks should implement it," the President's wife said.
It bears reminding that previously in the framework of the reform and with the assistance of American philanthropist Howard Buffett, the construction of a kitchen factory was initiated in Bucha, Kyiv region.
The main consumers of the products of the new kitchen factory will be schools and preschool institutions of the city and at least two nearby communities, but the production capacity can be reconfigured or expanded to meet the nutritional needs of any groups of population. In particular, the enterprise will be able to feed temporarily displaced persons and local residents.
It is expected that the kitchen factory in Bucha will be a pilot project, and in the future the network of establishments will be expanded to the entire territory of Ukraine. Each of them will be able to provide food for 30-40 educational institutions.
"This is how our reform of school meals returns in wartime. And this is part of our plan to restore Ukraine, because it must be started now already," Olena Zelenska emphasized.
In the summer, more than 50 educators from vocational and technical institutions from five regions of Ukraine have already passed a seminar for coaches in the framework of school nutrition reform.