Friday, May 25, 2012

Healthy Eating Week...

We started a Healthy Eating Program this week at the Community Centre in El Cocal. The purpose of the week was to implement awareness of healthy eating, since many of the kids in the community of El Cocal generally have chips and fanta for breakfast, clearly not a healthy choice. 
We first started with an activity for the kids to participate in on Tuesday of colouring foods, both healthy and unhealthy. They then placed them into their own good and bad bowls. The kids embraced the challenge of learning and showing off their healthy food knowledge.
 On Wednesday we got some fruit for the center, watermelon, canned peaches, apples and oranges. The Kinder kids at the Center saw the watermelon and literally gasped with excitement over the pink fruit before them. As the day continued, for art hour a few volunteers, including myself, played a tasting game. The kids were blindfolded and given a piece of fruit. They were then asked to guess which fruit it was. Being kids they quickly took over the game with excitement, testing the fruits out on friends and other volunteers. 
While we explained that fruits were better for them than the "Ranchitos" the kids devoured the rest of the fruit in a hurry. We only had a few pieces of watermelon left over for kids later to treat themselves to. Jessie, a volunteer from Australia, and I included the cook from the school with the preparations, which allowed for a future connection to possibly implement fruits and veggies into the school later on. Many of the kids are not aware that they can get two bananas for 1 bag of chips, healthier and a better deal. 
On Wednesday I made a Food Pyramid with the indicated food groups for the kids to see. They were instructed to colour the foods and draw others foods not included. Afterwards they pasted the foods where they thought they belonged. Learning and having fun all at the same time. 
For Friday we are having a cooking class, making savoury snacks with vegetables, crackers and cream cheese. Hopefully they can see that veggies and fruits can be fun and tasty too. It is my hope as well as with other volunteers that the healthy eating program can continue with other volunteers in the center in the future and hopefully place itself within the school and community. A healthier child leads to a happier child and better student. 

Julie- Quepos Volunteer