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QU hosts webinar on strengthening children’s nutrition during pandemic | Qatar University

QU hosts webinar on strengthening children’s nutrition during pandemic

the Smart Start program

The Department of Human Nutrition at the College of Health Sciences, member of the QU-HEALTH at Qatar University (QU), has organized the Smart Start program throughout the spring semester. Smart Start is a nutrition education program promoting healthy lifestyle and targeting schoolchildren in Qatar.

The Covid-19 pandemic has shifted dietary and lifestyle habits of many families. The poor diet quality and sedentary lifestyle acquired may affect the immune system and the disease susceptibility. Therefore, the program’s purpose was to emphasize the importance of Kids nutrition, introduce the parents to the importance of applying healthy eating habits and active lifestyle among their children daily routine, strategies to boost their immunity and staying active during the pandemic and introduce the kids to heathy eating.

The series of virtual webinars targeted parents, schoolteachers and administrators in several public and private schools in Qatar. In addition, the kids enjoyed numerous activities and watched an animated video about food groups and healthy eating habits virtually with their schoolteachers.

Many school staff, parents and children from different schools attended the webinar. The symposium discussed several main areas: foods that support the immune system and the importance of adopting a healthy and active lifestyle to strengthen the immune system. Many factors can weaken the immune system such as an incomplete diet, an unorganized sleep pattern, exposure to pollution, and a lack of fresh air or sunlight. The immune system protects the human body from pathogenic microbes such as bacteria and viruses. Learning healthy eating habits, consuming the correct diet and the development of a strong immune system that begins at a young age is crucial to deter health risks related to various diseases and their causes, including viruses.

Teaching Assistants at the Department of Human Nutrition emphasized the importance of including all food groups in the meal to boost immunity. The webinar provided many tips to schedule meals, prepare lunch boxes, engage daily fun activities and offered specialized strategies designed to deal with picky eaters. Moreover, virtual fun activities for kids were included in the program such as my plate activities, matching and guessing games and solving a maze.
“The webinar was very informative. It emphasized the importance of nutrition in boosting the immunity during the pandemic and gave us new ideas to incorporate healthy eating habits. Our kids enjoyed the activities with their schoolteachers, learned about different food groups and the importance of eating healthy and being active”, parents said.

Related Files
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  • the Smart Start program 2