Four hundred teachers from private and government schools in Dubai recently took part in a seminar that discussed nutritional education for school children and their families.
The seminar was conducted by the Clinical Nutrition Department at the DHA in association with Indian High School Dubai, discussed all aspects of nutrition for school children.
Wafa Ayesh, Director of Clinical Nutrition at the DHA said the aim of the workshop is educate teachers so that they can promote healthy eating habits amongst children and educate children and their families about the dangers of fast-foods which provide empty calories and is known to be a major cause of childhood obesity.
The seminar included educating teachers about the food pyramid, what constitutes an ideal lunch box and how to raise issues of poor eating or unhealthy lunch boxes with parents. Ayesh said: ” We presented to them several standard guidelines which are acceptable levels of healthy nutrition. We also educated them on how to raise issues such as unhealthy lunch boxes with parents so that parents ensure that they provide their children optimal nutrition all through the day, especially during school hours. Children spend several hours at school and during school hours they should consume healthy foods including complex carbohydrates that release energy slowly throughout the day rather than processed carbohydrates and sugars which provide instant energy but leave children feeling drained out and tired later on.”
Ayesh highlighted the need to address the problem of childhood obesity through such lectures and workshops. She said, “Conducting awareness workshops as well as distributing information leaflets and educating the public by explaining the food pyramid are some of the tools which we incorporate at the DHA. We firmly believe that awareness is the key to knowledge, which in turns gives people the power to make the right choices.”