Children taught at school how to eat healthy. “We are not going to make students weak, but to show the correct sources of nutrients”

In the school units in the city of Mioveni, Argeș county, the local authorities have entered into partnerships with a nutrition specialist who explains to students how to have a healthy lifestyle, based on a balanced and diversified diet.

Nutrition classes in schools Photo: Mioveni City Hall

Childhood obesity has become a global problem. The World Health Organization estimates that in the absence of drastic prevention and treatment measures, by 2030, almost 500,000 children, aged between five and 19, will suffer from obesity in Romania.

The local administration from Mioveni, Argeș county, in partnership with the educational units in the city, runs educational projects through which students learn habits for a healthy life.

Nutritionist Alentina Florea is volunteering to go to city schools to show students that “healthy food means health!“. “Children are receptive. The younger the child, the more curious he is. If you go to them with the idea of ​​balance on all flanks it will only win. Education is not done by force, it is not done with a scalpel on their souls”, says teacher Alentina Florea, nutritionist technician and PhD student in Sports Science and Physical Education.

It starts from the fact that a child is in the process of growth and development and needs a lot of quality nutrients.

We don't care about the calorie count. We are not going to weaken the children in the schools. We are going to show correct sources of nutrients. It is not the same to have a thousand calories from a shaorma as to have the same thousand calories from a portion of salad with a fish in the oven”says Alentina Florea.

Healthy food pyramid

The starting point for discussions with students is the healthy food pyramid. Thus, the ideal plate is created. A balanced diet is the key to staying healthy. The base of the food pyramid is represented by whole grains, which should be taken as the main food source.

The next food block is vegetables and fruits to ensure you get a good mix of vitamins and minerals every day.

On the third floor of the pyramid are meat and dairy, and then sweets.

Fats and sugars are at the top of the healthy eating pyramid and should be consumed in small amounts.

The food pyramid Photo: Romanian Nutrition Society

The food pyramid Photo: Romanian Nutrition Society

When we talk about the pyramid, we start from the amount of water needed by each child, each of us. I always say that we customize the amount of water and the amount of food because we don't all need the same amount of water, each person has a different need. We drink water to hydrate our every cell. Then we gradually climb from the base to the top of the pyramid, passing through the requirement of whole grains. We come to vegetables and fruits, and then to vegetable and animal proteins. Last but not least, we are talking about sweets“, says the nutrition specialist.

A complete diet contains foods from each group.

Nutrition in Romanian schools

Regarding the need for nutrition lessons in schools, Alentina Florea claims that they are necessary, but not enough.

“I was a teacher and I kind of know what the courses done in school, by some of the teachers, mean to check off some things. Children must be attracted to them, not to turn nutrition courses into what we do with mathematics, with history. Let the child come with the soul, with the consciousness and the awareness that everything he does there has repercussions in his later life“, said Alentina Florea.