Dutch cheese brand, Frico, is teaming up with Emirati chef and TV personality, Bader Najeeb, to carry out a nationwide campaign in schools with the objective of educating children on the importance of eating a balanced diet.
The programme has been piloted in the UAE over the summer, and will be rolled out in schools in Saudi Arabia before the end of 2017.
It was launched on the back of a recent survey from YouGov, which highlighted that 71% of parents in UAE-based families want children to be more interested in food preparation, with 92% saying they think this should start in school.
Adil Ehsan, Frico marketing manager FrieslandCampina Middle East commented: “This survey clearly shows a desire for more food education for our children. As a community, we are collectively responsible for our children’s education. Family eating habits can trickle down and have a direct impact on children.
“In order to make smarter food choices, children need to be educated about food and nutrition and equipped with information. It is important for our bodies to have a balanced diet because our organs and tissues need proper nutrition to work effectively.”
During the campaign, Chef Bader will interact with children directly and show them how to prepare easy and tasty balanced meals.
Children will be educated on the importance of eating a balanced diet of protein, dairy, fruit, vegetables and grains while cutting down on processed foods such as sugary cereals, meat products and snacks that contain additives and artificial flavouring.
Chef Najeeb commented: “Some children are growing up in houses where they don’t learn how to cook and they aren’t being taught at school. In some cases, they don’t even see their parents cooking meals either. This is vital education that children are missing out on – how to eat a balanced diet, where food comes from and how to prepare food at home.
“Cooking is fun and can be an activity for all the family to get involved in. As a direct response to the findings from this research, I am launching a regional schools tour to encourage children to get active in the kitchen. We plan to reach out to children across the region and show them just how easy it is to prepare a balanced and nutritious meal.”
Frico is a worldwide Dutch cheese brand, present in more than 90 countries across the globe.
Made with fresh milk from Frisian cows by FrieslandCampina, one of the world’s biggest dairy cooperatives, the cheeses are naturally ripened and crafted by experienced cheese-makers.