UAE school children win international competition for project on healthy eating habits

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Students from Khawla bint Tha’laba School have won the Arla FOODMoovers Global Competition for a project they completed on healthy eating habits. The competition aims to educate students on the importance of healthy eating habits in schools through following internationally recognized standards for healthy nutrition. The ceremony was hosted at the main auditorium of the Ministry of Education and was attended by H.E Marwan Al-Sawaleh, Undersecretary for Academic Affairs for Public Education, His Excellency Franz-Michael Skjold Mellbin, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Denmark to the UAE, Anette Holm, General Manager of Arla Foods in the UAE and Oman, and Aisha Saif Alsiri, Director of Health and Physical Fitness for the UAE Ministry of Education.

Since December, students across 150 public and private schools in UAE have been researching and collecting knowledge about their food and mealtime habits at home and school and using that information to develop solutions to create healthier food habits. During the final event, the top three schools from UAE and Denmark presented their ideas, and students from Khawla Bint Thalaba School won the competition for their excellent project.

Reflecting on the programme, H.E. Jameela Salem Al Muhairi, Minister of State for General Education in UAE said: “We are committed to the health of our students and good eating habits play a critical role in overall wellbeing, students’ academic performance and intellectual presence. Arla FOODMoovers is a wonderful initiative and a starting point, which empowers students in a fun and educational way to make healthy choices.”

Her Excellency pointed out that the UAE schools, besides being educational and pedagogical entities, are also working to provide students with the best practices that are related directly to their daily lives during their educational journey, especially on the subject of nutrition. The ministry seeks, through multiple awareness activities, to instil awareness on the importance of healthy food choices that will reflect positively on their general health.

Anette Holm, General Manager of Arla Foods in UAE and Oman added, “Dietary habits established in childhood often carry into adulthood, so teaching children how to eat a balanced diet at a young age is imperative to help them stay healthy throughout life. We are honoured to partner with the Ministry of Education on this initiative and expand its presence across the UAE.”

She added: “FOODMoovers is about getting children to re-think their eating habits and take responsibility for their own health. Most importantly, it’s about doing it in an interactive and fun way. It’s been encouraging to see so much talent in these young students and, with their discoveries and ideas, we hope to be able to better tackle the challenges around healthy eating to ensure the wellbeing of school children. Congratulations to the winner of this year’s contest and all of the finalists on this fantastic achievement.”

The top three finalist from the UAE were Khawla bint Tha’laba School, Al Doha School, and Al Alfiah School who competed in the final at the UAE Ministry of Education. The winning classes were awarded a trip to LEGOLAND in Dubai.

FOODMoovers was launched in Dubai in February 2018 as a pilot scheme at Dubai British School and, due to its success, Arla subsequently partnered with the UAE Ministry of Education in December to roll out the initiative across 150 public and private schools in UAE

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