By Clare Matthes
In support of Jamie Oliver’s global Food Revolution Day this year, Jamie’s Italian SA hosted a healthy eating workshop for a class of primary school kids.
The aim of the global Food Revolution campaign in short, is to inspire positive change in the way children access, consume and understand food. Everyone should be part of this initiative to alter universal eating practices and convert the bad habits to good ones.
Global obesity has more than doubled since 1980. 1.4 billion adults are overweight and more than 40 million children under the age of five are too. Year upon year the World Health Organisation devotes massive spend to reduce diseases caused by poor diets, when the junk food industry swoops in, undoes all this good and comparatively spends the same amount, if not more, on advertising junk food. This begs the question: is this a losing battle?
Not if we all team up and teach each other about the food we’re consuming. Food Revolution Day is aimed at educating kids and their teachers about the importance of healthy eating, while also highlighting the global problem of obesity and diet related illnesses.
On Food Revolution Day on May 20 a class of grade three pupils were invited to Jamie’s Italian SA in Melrose Arch to do exactly that – learn about good, healthy, nutritious food. These seven and eight-year-olds eagerly participated in the healthy eating workshop led by head chef Shane Smit, who took them through the good, the bad and the ugly of foods.
By letting the kids touch and taste certain foods, Shane showed them different examples of the healthy and the not-so-healthy. He spoke of three categories: “always food”, “sometimes food” and “never food”. The kids were invited to play along and guess certain foodstuffs, while Shane ardently described their health benefits.
Shane carefully and clearly explained the reason sugar is bad for you, how it affects the body and the sugar content in some soft drinks, ice teas, and fast food chain burgers. His clarification was met with exclamations of “tjo” and “sjoe” and “eish” by the group of children, who were shocked.
“Sugar is the most harmful ingredient we can feed our children,” explained Shane. “Look for tasty natural alternatives to sugar found in wholesome fruits and vegetables. This generation is our future and we need to think long-term and not just for today.”
Shane suggested then better alternatives to the sugary regulars and gave the kids a healthy flapjack recipe to make at home to enjoy. A great hit was the rich and thick chocolate mousse made from avocado. Even the adults in the room couldn’t resist that!
“The first step in the right direction is educating the youth on healthy eating and the importance of eating nutritious and wholesome food from a young age,” added Smit.
“Obesity is preventable,” Shane said. “And it’s up to our youth to make sure this cycle ends.”
The Food Revolution wants to change the way kids consume food for the better, which in turn is the key to a healthier world and a healthier future. The Food Revolution aims to highlight ambiguous laws, change policies, modify practices and improve opinions in support for better food for everyone, especially the kids, who are the future.
About Clare Matthes
Clare’s father swears she was born waving spirit fingers and singing tah-dah! in an oh-so-dahling-showbiz-esque manner. Nicknamed “Schnauze” because of her smart mouth and quick whit, Clare enjoys putting the world in words. Wordsmith by day and dance teacher by night, maybe the other way around, this sarcastic eye-roller-extraordinaire has a passion for putting things into text. Always finding it necessary to see the humour in things, she never shies away from a good old égoportrait (selfie).
You can find more of Clare's writing on her site, Gadget Gal.