“Feed Your Kids Right” at EDU Dynamics Academy, 2nd June 2018
As the Ayurvedic proverb goes “With the wrong diet, no medicine can help. With the right diet, no medicine is necessary”, we can all agree that healthy eating habits are of paramount importance.
In EDU Dynamics Academy, apart from our efforts to facilitate the learning process for students on academic subjects, we also strive to spread essential life skills and knowledge to our students and public alike. In line with this adage, EDU Dynamics was delighted to host the event “Feed Your Kids Right” on 2nd of June 2018. This event was a 2-hour talk session to raise awareness on the importance of a healthy diet for children and teenagers. Besides that, the talk included tips and methods to ensure a healthy diet. Apart from the talk, the students also took part in a “salad making” competition.
The talk was conducted by Ms. Vinodhini Cha Chu @ Ms Vino, a nutritionist from the Klang District Health Office. This talk was attended by the students and teachers from the Academy as well other guests. Ms Vino began the talk by gauging the understanding of the audience on what makes a healthy eater. She then moved on to share about the statistics of obesity cases in Malaysia. It was a shock for the audience when they came to know that Malaysia is the leading nation with obesity cases in South East Asia at 44.2%.
The speaker stressed that it was crucial for the Malaysian population to practice healthy eating habits to ensure the reduction in obesity amongst the general public and individuals with chronic diseases in Malaysia. As per the saying “‘prevention is better than cure”, to reduce the number of individuals becoming obese or suffer from chronic diseases in the future, it is essential for people to practice a healthy lifestyle.
According to Ms Vino, the 3 points to note for a healthy eating habit include, a balanced meal, moderate food consumption and a variety of food. To have a better understanding of this, she shared the Malaysian food pyramid with the audience as illustrated below.
Source: Malaysian Ministry of Health
The speaker also shared about the practice of having variety in our meals. She encouraged all to consume more fruits and vegetables of various colours in a meal. This would attract children, especially, to consume them and absorb the various needed nutrients, such as:
- White for cauliflower, radish
- Green for kangkung, cucumber, green apple
- Red for tomato, beetroot, apple
- Yellow/Orange for carrots, pumpkin, banana, lemon
- Purple for brinjal
Besides that, Ms Vino corrected the misconception of “milk is only for small kids”. She stressed that milk and dairy products is important for all age groups. Milk is a source of calcium that is essential to maintain strong bones. However, individuals who are overweight and obese are advised to consume low fat milk instead of full cream milk. Another misconception that fats are bad was corrected. Ms Vino stressed that fats were needed to be part of meals, but should be consumed in small amounts, as it was important to help in absorption of certain vitamins such as A, D, E & K. She also suggested that we should consume more plant-based fats as it is the healthier option in comparison to other forms of fats.
Aside from talking about nutrients and healthy food consumption, Ms Vino shared some tips on how one should plan our diets. She advised the audience to plan their weekly menu. Some eating habits to be avoided are:
- Eating out
- Practicing poor snacking (consume junk foods)
- Bad eating time
- Force feeding
- Meal with no variety
- Being distracted while eating
Ms Vino also introduced the Quarter/Quarter/Half formula for each main meal. According to this formula, carbohydrates and proteins should each be a quarter of a plate while fruits and vegetables should be half of the plate. The Quarter/Quarter/Half (#SukuSukuSeparuh in Malay) formula is as illustrated below:
Source: Malaysian Ministry of Health
The very last activity that Ms Vino conducted before concluding the session was teaching the audience to be a wise and healthy user by reading the Nutrition Information Panel (NIP) of packed food and drink. She emphasized on what information to look for when reading the NIP. She also helped the audience to analyze and measure the sugar content available per serving on some popular can drinks and juice boxes.
The event concluded with Ms Vino recapping on the key points of her talk. The guests then proceeded to have lunch. After lunch, the students participated in an exciting salad making competition.
That Saturday was a truly well spent day for the attendees. The Academy would like to take this opportunity to thank Ms Vinodhini Cha Chu for her time and effort to share useful information on healthy eating diets, the staff and other guests who attended the event. The special moments captured at the event can be found in the gallery. (link)