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Qatar University resumes Smart Start campaign and shares weekly Ramadan tips for children | Qatar University

Qatar University resumes Smart Start campaign and shares weekly Ramadan tips for children

2022-05-10
children participating

Human Nutrition Department (HND) at the College of Health Sciences (CHS), a member of QU-Health at Qatar University (QU), resumes Smart Start campaign in spring and shares weekly Ramadan tips for children. In February and March 2022, HND hosted two virtual workshops about Child Nutrition and Health Awareness for public and private schools in Qatar, targeting elementary students, parents, and school staff.

In both sessions, various dietary tips were discussed. It emphasized the role of healthy food, meal preparation and exercise in children's overall health. One of the main topics of discussion was MyPlate recommendations. Parents and students were taught how to divide their plates in order to ensure a balanced diet that included all of the major food categories and enhanced the nutritional value of their meals. Furthermore, the webinar focused on educating parents on how to pack a healthy and nutritionally dense lunch box for their children.

Parents learned how to include different food groups in their child’s lunch box, drinks and snack selection, and constructing a healthier lunch box with minimal effort. The workshops also highlighted the necessity of physical activity for children’s health. Parents were advised to minimize screen time, involve children in food purchasing and preparation and do outdoor activities. Moreover, kids enjoyed the activities about different food groups and matching games at school.

In addition to the virtual webinars, HND sought a simple yet effective method of disseminating nutrition-related advice to the schools during Ramadan. Ten electronic messages were delivered to encourage people to experience a healthier version of Ramadan. Suggestions on how to break their fast, a healthier iftaar, and snack options were among the several suggestions offered. Food preparation methods were also included, encouraging the target audience to bake, grill, and air-fry rather than oil frying. The messages also highlighted the need to pay attention for the fluid intake and how to stay hydrated throughout the day by sipping water on a regular basis. Furthermore, light-to-moderate-intensity exercise was suggested as a way to recharge throughout Ramadan. Finally yet importantly, all of the recommendations were designed to replenish the body after a fast, as well as to avoid overeating, heaviness, and lethargy.