A new TV show will teach and inspire children to cook and eat healthy food. WCM-Q and JeemTV (formerly Al Jazeera Children’s Channel), teamed up to produce a healthy cooking competition for children entitled The Healthy Eating Show.
Children’s chef Ann Cooper from the United States, who supervises the school meals for almost 10,000 students, flew over to Qatar to act as host, chef and judge for the program. Chef Ann demonstrated the recipes for a number of healthy meals that are suitable for children to cook at home. The contestants on the show had to reproduce the meals in the studio before having their creations judged. The aim is to teach children about good nutrition and encourage them to eat healthy food, thereby preventing lifestyle-related diseases when older.
Nesreen Al Rifai, chief communications officer at WCM-Q, said the collaboration with JeemTV allowed the Your Health First: Sahtak Awalan campaign to reach tens of thousands of children.
Mrs Al-Rifai said: “Sahtak Awalan is very much a community health campaign and is very visible in Qatar. We are always out and about meeting people both young and old and encouraging them to adopt healthy lifestyles. But teaming up with JeemTV has allowed us to spread the healthy eating message even further. Tens of thousands of children have had the chance to learn simple, tasty and healthy recipes and gain greater understanding about the importance of diet. We look forward to further collaboration with JeemTV in the near future.”
Saad Saleh Al-Hudaifi, acting executive general manager at JeemTV, said: “JeemTV initializes a healthy eating campaign every year to encourage children and their families to adopt healthy nutritional habits. We want to help educate children about the best ways to stay healthy so the opportunity to collaborate with Sahtak Awalan was very welcome. Together we have created a show that is entertaining, fun but also educational and I hope it will make a real difference to the children and young people of the Arab world.”
Chef Ann said it had been a great experience to film the series and that teaching children the basics of cookery was the first step to introducing them to healthy eating.
She said: “The kids have been great, they all worked really hard. I think the thing that they really got out of this was the teamwork and the experience of cooking – which is the first stage of learning about health. We need to encourage our kids to cook and the interest in healthy and healthy food will then follow.”
Recipes that the children cooked included healthy versions of pizzas, muffins, smoothies. The recipes made use of ingredients like wholewheat flour, rather than refined white flour, and lots of fruit, vegetables and lean meats.
Eleven-year-old Rawda Mustafa, who attends Doha Academy, was one of the children to take part.
She said: “I make salads at home and also cook fish and chicken. It’s important to eat healthy food as it is not good for us to be fat and healthy food gives us the vitamins and minerals our bodies need. I learned today how to make easy healthy meals that taste nice.”
Zaid Rayyan, 12, of Park House English School, added: “We’ve been making healthy snacks for kids our age. I’ve learned that eating healthily is important and that you can eat some sweets as art of a balanced diet but you also need to eat fruit and vegetables.”
The television show will be broadcast weekly each Monday from November 9 at 6pm. It will be repeated at 9.30pm each Monday and then on Tuesdays at noon and Saturdays at 10am.