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Fun with healthy food

Around 60 students attending courses at the Institute of Community Services (ICS) at Mcast recently participated in a whistle-stop workshop called ‘Fun With Healthy Food’ with the aim of promoting healthy eating among young children through creative food presentation.

The workshop was organised and run by final year students enrolled in the B.Ed (Hons) Nutrition, Family and Consumer Studies (NFCS) course of the Faculty of Education.

The intention of the work-shop was to help prospective kindergarten assistants and early childhood educators review basic child nutrition, food hygiene and safety principles, as well as see them applied in practice.

Another objective was to show how food can be used in thematic learning activities with young children and to teach a number of concepts, such as colours, shapes, animals; or skills, such as counting, sorting and creativity.

After an introductory presentation, the ICS students were split into groups and worked their way through the five demonstration and practice stations. They had the opportunity to see and participate in the making of a variety of healthy snacks and drinks suitable for young children, including ladybird and pirate bigilla sandwiches, roasted aubergine dip with crudités, caterpillar pizza, ricotta and fruit cups and carrot, cucumber and orange juice, among others.

The NFCS student-teachers explained the nutritional value of the ingredients used, as well as the importance of exposing children to a variety of foods and flavours from a young age. This would facilitate food acceptance and a balanced diet as they grew older.

All recipes demonstrated were suitable for preparation by children in a classroom setting, with help and guidance by their adult carers. Such activities would also promote eye-hand coordination and manipulative and culinary skills.

Apart from tasting most of the food demonstrated and partially prepared by themselves, the students received a Fun With Healthy Food Recipe booklet and a certificate of participation.

Commissioner for Children Helen D’Amato attended part of the morning event and addressed those present on the importance of good nutrition and practical work with children.

For more information contact Suzanne Piscopo on [email protected].

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