July is Nutrition Month, and this year’s theme is ‘Healthy Diet Gawing Habit—for Life.’ [Apparently, you’ll see several Facebook posts about that from moms whose kids are in pre-school.]
Of course, Joyland Playschool Childcare and Learning Center is not to be left behind. We’re supposed to celebrate Nutrition Month on July 28th, but the Head Teacher (HT) needed to postpone due to inclement weather. We were finally able to have ours on the 1st of August.
Before that, I bet you didn’t even know what Nutrition Month is all about.
What is Nutrition Month?
Nutrition Month is an annual campaign observed every July. It is created by the Presidential Decree No. 491 under the regime of then President Ferdinand Marcos. The same decree also created the National Nutritional Council (NCC), the government body whose main task is to help promote greater awareness on the importance of nutrition among the Filipinos. This year is the 43rd Nutrition Month.
Further along, the celebration follows a focal theme every year to highlight an important and timely concern regarding nutrition.
What are the objectives of this year’s Nutrition Month?
Since 2017’s campaign aims at increasing awareness of how important a healthy diet is, it also purports to:
– help the Filipinos distinguish between healthy and unhealthy foods for better food choices;
– encourage the food industry to produce and make healthier food options available; and
– advocate policies in support of an enabling environment for healthy diets.
What is a healthy diet anyway?
As part of the healthy lifestyle, a healthy diet is considered as the foundation of good health. Our body requires a healthy diet to function and grow and develop properly. With this, a healthy diet considers both the quality and quantity of the food we consume.
Balance, variety and moderation are the three pillars of a healthy diet. Put simply, eating chicken is good. But a bucket of fried chicken? Well, it could have bad effects on the body. Eat well or eat irresponsibly and suffer the consequences in the future.
Further, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) defines a healthy diet as a diet that:
– includes a variety of foods from different food groups;
– meets the individual needs for calories and nutrients;
– is safe, with no risk from toxins, bacteria, mold or chemicals;
– is enjoyable and culturally acceptable; and
– is available and sufficient each day and all year round.
What is an unhealthy diet?
An unhealthy diet, on the other hand, is composed of energy-dense but nutrient-poor foods. It also includes:
– low fruit and vegetable consumption;
– high sodium and low potassium consumption;
– high trans fatty acids and saturated fats consumption; and
– high free sugar intake.
Are Filipinos eating healthy foods?
Yes, I know you the answer. 😀 😛
Going back, the program had three parts. First, getting to know your veggies and fruits. The students are asked to bring vegetables and fruits so they would know what each looks like. Each student presented the veggie or fruit assigned to them. Sasha brought a pineapple.
Second, playing Nutri-Bingo. HT and co-teachers prepared bingo cards wherein instead of the usual B-I-N-G-O, the cards contain Go, Grow and Glow. Each card costs Php20 and each parent-and-child tandem is required to have two cards. The patterns that we needed to complete are the L-shaped, U-shaped and the block (punuan). Sadly, we didn’t win any of the prizes. 😥
Third, tasting the healthiest pancit. Before the actual celebration, we had a prior meeting (last July 15th) to discuss the activities on July 28th (supposedly). HT also divided the parents/students into three groups: nursery and kinder 1A, kinder 1B and prep. We’re in the second group. Our contribution is Php100 each, and we decided to go for the usual pancit and egg sandwich. We didn’t win the contest either. Haha.
The criteria for judging are 20% aesthetic, 30% palatability and 50% nutritive value (60 points for carbohydrates, 40 points for vegetables and 25 points for protein) for a total of 100%. But all of us get to taste all three entries, so yes that made it worth every peso spent! 😛 And based on the pic above, it easy to decide which one is the winner.
Yes, it is the biggest bilao with veggie shanghai, fried prawns and kalabasa (pumpkin) nuggets. It’s not bihon, but miki and vermicelli. It’s the healthiest indeed! Not to mention, the accompanying drink is pureed ripe mangoes; real mango fruit, not the powdered juice drink.
With that kudos to Joyland, HT and co-teachers and all parents and students who participated! It’s a successful Nutrition Month celebration I must say.