Let's hear what the teachers have to say!
In the past two years, all of us have become aware of the importance of eating healthy and building strong immunity. But there are not many avenues for people from low-income groups, especially children, to get the right knowledge about healthy eating and access appropriate nutrition within their budget. Our School Nutrition Awareness Program aims to change this! Let's hear from two of the teachers who attended this program on how it is making a difference in the lives of children and adults alike.
Food Funda is our School Nutrition Awareness Program aimed to empower children with the proper knowledge and practices on food and nutrition.
We delivered the Food Funda program in multiple schools last year, with the objective of improving children's knowledge of the basics of food and nutrition and enabling them to shift their behaviors toward healthy eating. We did this via workshops, activities, challenges, quizzes and more. Given the pandemic, we conducted the program online, adjusting the teaching methodology to suit the online format. And dare we say, the program has been a success for us! Not only did we see significant improvement in children's knowledge, attitude and behavior towards healthy eating, but even the adults found the program useful.
Let's hear the feedback from two of the class teachers who attended the program along with the kids:
Ms. Meenu Pal, Classteacher, VIDYA School, Gurugram
Ms. Meenu Pal is a class teacher for Class VIIth students from VIDYA School, which is an NGO-run school in Nathupur village, Gurugram. It provides high-quality education to children from nearby slum areas. Ms. Pal encouraged her students to adopt healthy food practices as well as started practicing good food habits in her personal life.
"Foodshaala's Food Funda program was lovely! I was the classteacher for Class 7th students, who were the participants for the program. The program was beneficial not only for the students, but also for me. The sessions covered small and simple things, that were taught in a practical manner. In one of the sessions, we were told that having tea immediately after meals lowers iron absorption from the food. After the session, I stopped having tea with my breakfast, even though this was an old habit! I also really enjoyed all the healthy recipes that were shared with us.
Ms. Pal also noted how various activities and games used in this online mode of teaching kept the students engaged. Not only did the methods work, but the kids also looked forward to the next sessions. Ms. Pal noted:
The students also really liked the program. They used to share with me between classes how much they were enjoying it. Some of the teaching methods used were very effective. For example, using 'points' questions in between the sessions kept the students attentive throughout. Dividing the students into teams also pushed them to motivate each other and created a healthy competition among them. I loved the sessions so much that I used to attend them all. I used to get tired after getting home from school, but I made sure I was connected by 4 PM so I did not miss anything. Overall, I really loved the sessions! Thank you to Foodshaala for conducting this program for our students!"
Ms. Valarmathi Velmurugan, Classteacher, Sunbeam School, Mumbai
Sunbeam School is a not-for-profit organization providing education to children from low-income groups in Mumbai. Ms. Valarmathi Velmurugan, Classteacher for Class VIIth students, shared her thoughts on the program:
"Thank you very much Raadhika ma'am and Amit sir for your valuable time to develop and guide our children to know the importance of healthy eating habits, and learn about vitamins, minerals, iron, calcium, carbs, protein, good fats, bad fats, etc. present in food and each thing which they consume and also to make them aware of the food to be avoided. Not only did the children enjoy and benefit but it was also a very interesting class for me. The motivation, explanation and way of teaching of both of you were excellent and the children including me enjoyed the class. We are really grateful and thankful to Foodshaala Foundation."
The children from these schools have already started moving towards a healthier future. We feel so happy that we got the opportunity to play the role of a catalyst in this transformation through our Food Funda program. We are very grateful to the teachers for their love and support.
Written by Insha Shah, Volunteer at Foodshaala Foundation.