Nestlé Professional and Worldchefs, the World Association of Chefs Societies’, teamed up for #InternationalChefsDay on October 20 to promote healthier eating for children all over the world through cooking events held under the theme of How Healthy Food Works, in line with the Nestlé for Healthier Kids global goal to help 50 million children live healthier lives by 2030.
In partnership with the Emirates Culinary Guild, cooking and educational activities were held at the International Centre for Culinary Arts Dubai – ICCA, where children learned about cooking with specific foods and their benefits. Other events in the Middle East are due to include over 400 kids in similar sessions in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Tunisia.
“Our theme this year is How Healthy Food Works. We want to show how food affects our body internally, building on the themes of the last two years, Healthy Foods for Growing up and Healthy Foods for Heroes, and going into more depth on different foods and why our bodies need them,” says International Chefs Day Chair Chef Joanna Ochniak.
The eight fruits and vegetables selected for emphasis as cooking ingredients for children this year were: apples and oranges for their vitamin C benefits which support developing immune systems, bananas for their variety of vitamins and minerals, including manganese, magnesium and B vitamins which are important for strong growth and development, broccoli for its fibre which helps with digestion, carrots and spinach for their vitamin A which contributes to healthy vision, and cucumbers because they are 95% water which helps the body stay hydrated. Plus, mangoes as a source of potassium which contributes to normal muscle function.
“We’re very proud to be partnering with Worldchefs in bringing the message of healthy eating to children around the world,” says Roger Frei, business executive officer at Nestlé Professional, Middle East & North Africa. “In collaboration with chefs, we aim to increase awareness of the important and increasingly vital role that cooking plays in providing healthier meals to children, helping them eat better, firmly establishing healthy food habits and diets as they grow up.”
A recent evaluation of the impact of the 2016 International Chefs Day children-geared cooking workshops revealed their positive effects on children’s appetite for salads across a selection of countries worldwide.
The Nestlé for Healthier Kids global initiative aims to help 50 million children lead healthier lives by 2030 through leading research in nutrition, product innovation and the introduction of healthier foods, as well as education and lifestyle programmes and services developed and implemented with partners around the globe.
Nestlé Professional is passionate about serving the out-of-home industry, using its global experience and know-how to help accelerate the businesses of its foodservice and hospitality industry partners.