United Arab Emirates, Dubai, October 29, 2019: Dubai Health Authority's Nutrition Department in collaboration with the Public Health and Protection Department carried out a pilot project known as Captain Nutrition.
The project took place in a private school in Dubai for Grade 5 students; more than 100 students took part in the initiative, which is in line with the Dubai School Health Policy.
Dr Wafa Ayesh, Director of Nutrition at the DHA said, “Through interactive sessions and workshops, we explained the concepts of healthy eating; we made children understand the importance of eating vegetables and explained the different food groups and their benefits.”
Grade 5 children also took part in a healthy cooking competition. Nutritionists accompanied the children for grocery shopping to educate them on how to pick healthy ingredients to make healthier meals.
“The trolleys were divided into different food groups so children better understand different food groups and how they can be used together to create a wholesome meal,” said Ayesh.
The winners attended World Chef Day that took place at the International Centre for Culinary Arts. Children got an opportunity to dish out recipes with internationally renowned chefs.
In 2018, the Nutrition Department carried out more than 50 workshops across schools to educate children on healthy eating and sufficient hydration.
Badriya Al Harmi, Director of Public Health and Protection said healthy nutrition is a building block for health and wellbeing. “The foundation years are incredibly important for creating awareness among schoolchildren on healthy eating and educating them about the impact of food on their overall energy levels, growth, health and wellbeing. Good habits formed during these formative years, hopefully last a lifetime and there is enough research to show the children who adopt healthy lifestyles are more likely to continue those in adulthood.”
In future, the Department may consider expanding this project across other schools in the Emirate of Dubai.