By Analou De Vera
Parents should encourage their children to eat healthy food, an official of the Department of Health (DOH) said.
“As parents, we must start our children early and encourage healthy eating practices in order to inculcate in their minds the importance of eating healthy and nutritious food,” said DOH-Calabarzon Regional Director Eduardo Janairo.
Janairo said that “children are not that difficult to feed” as long as they have come to enjoy the natural taste of food that are prepared for them.
“Make sure that healthy snacks are available. Keep plenty of fruit, vegetables, and healthy beverages like water, milk, pure fruit juice on hand so that children can avoid unhealthy snacks like softdrinks and junk food,” the health official said.
“We have to make sure that these are regularly available because healthy eating habits begin at home,” he added.
Janairo said that school teachers and school canteen staff also plays an important role on the healthy eating habits of children.
“School teachers play an important role in shaping a child’s mind in building their knowledge, skills and influencing their behavior, especially in eating nutritious food and promotion of healthy diet,” he said.
“The role of the school canteen is to help in the promotion of healthy eating habits because most of the total nutritional daily intake of a student are acquired from food sold in school canteens,” he added.
Recently, the DOH-Calabrazon also conducted a Menu Planning Workshop for school canteen managers and canteen owners in the region.
The workshop was aimed at expanding their “knowledge in the appropriate planning and preparation of healthy and nutritious food and beverages for the consumption of school children.”