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For children and adults about healthy eating with excitement

In mid-May, six schools in the Talas and Batken regions hosted exciting sports and culinary competitions between teams of families. Primary school students and their parents engaged in a campaign organized by SIFI in partnership with UN WFP. The event is linked to the International Day of Families, which is celebrated annually on May 15th. The goal of this campaign is to shape the perception of children and their parents about balanced diet and its role in the growth and development of child.

For a couple of hours, three teams of families in each school competed not only in culinary skills and their knowledge of the basics of healthy eating, but also in sport contests, where such skills as agility and team cohesiveness were needed. All this with the active support of the audience, who themselves had the opportunity to win prizes by answering questions about healthy eating during breaks between competitions.

The teams’ names themselves "Vitamin", "Oranges" or "Apricots" emphasized the culinary thematic of the competition. However, the creative component did not stand aside either. Children and their parents composed the presentations of their teams with creativity: some painted beautiful posters, and others even came up with a dance presentation.

The contest began with a quick quiz – the answers had to be fast and correct. All questions were related to nutrition. Of course, the participants did not always knew the right answers, but now after this competition even the primary schoolchildren know that the best drink for replenishing fluid in the body is ordinary drinking water, and not at all sweet soda, that at least three servings of vegetables and two fruits should be eaten daily, and in order to preserve useful vitamin C in potatoes, you need to bake it unpeeled.

They moved from theory to cooking practice. In one of the contests, teams prepared delicious vegetable salad from the provided set of products, in another - a refreshing cocktail. Moreover, not only the originality of the recipe and its taste were evaluated, but also the plating and presentation of the dish – team captain had to tell about its benefits. All team members took part in the preparation of salads and drinks: adults and older children cut and mixed the ingredients, while the smaller ones tasted the dishes.

The audience had fun at the contests "Guess the taste" and "Guess by texture". While everyone succeeded in the first task without much difficulty, except that sometimes confusing mandarin with orange, children made funny mistakes when guessing some cereals by texture: some confused semolina with sugar or pearl barley with rice, and no one guessed millet by its texture. The thing is, that these cereals are not so popular in the diets of local families. It seems that after such contests this might change.

And of course, the most exciting moment for both the fans and the participants were sports contests: tug of war and running in bags. Here the audience did not spare their ovations and their support. It is in the competitions like these when the real team spirit is shown.

No one was left without prizes and certificates: some team won the culinary prize, some became the most athletic one, and some received prizes for being the most active family. But, most importantly, in such casual playful manner children not only learned, but also consolidated the basic principles of rational nutrition and a healthy lifestyle, and will now be able to share new knowledge with their peers. Here we can surely say that participation and the knowledge acquired are more important than winning.