Interview: Nemanja Nenadić, (Association of Chefs of Bosnia and Herzegovina)

For healthy nutrition, we do not need time, but will

Bojana Karanović for UNICEF
Nemanja Nenadić (Udruženja kuhara BiH), u UNICEF-ovom programu „Škole prijatelji zdrave ishrane"
05 December 2018

The best way to persuade young people to eat something healthy is to include them the preparation of meals, so they will be creative and will accept healthy food, says Nemanja.


As a professional chef and member of the Association of Chefs in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nemanja Nenadić from Banja Luka has a rich culinary experience for which he is often rewarded both in our country and abroad.

He shared his skills and talent with first-grade students and teachers of the Primary School “Branko Radičević” and Primary School “Jovan Jovanović Zmaj” in Banja Luka, where through workshops he shared his knowledge with the youngest and advised them how to, in a quick and easy way to prepare themselves a healthy meal and snack.

The workshops were organized within the project “Nutrition Friendly Schools”, which under the slogan “Eat Well, Grow Well” is implemented by UNICEF Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition to two schools in Banja Luka, the program includes two primary schools in Sarajevo, and apart from working with students, renowned chefs and nutritionist trained also parents and teaching staff in these schools.

The goal of the project, which is implemented according to the methodology of the World Health Organization, is not only to promote healthy diet among children and youth, but also to influence the adoption of appropriate policies at the level of educational institutions that would place healthy living habits in the general program and continuously promote them.

Chef Nemanja Nenadić says that he is always happy to respond to calls for participation in programs that involve working with children and that the project “Nutrition Friendly Schools” is conceived in a good way because the program includes children and their parents. He says that preparing healthy meals is crucial and that it is important to break widespread prejudices that a healthy meal must be complicated and expensive.

In a conversation during one of the workshops in Banja Luka, Nemanja says that education and raising awareness about the importance of adopting proper eating habits among children is very important. His basic message to parents is: “Wake up, think healthier.”

Nemanja Nenadić, Udruženja kuhara BiH, intervju

He points out that working with parents is very important because children copy their parents a lot and they also copy their diet, which is often poor and in a hurry. The Nemanja’s experience shows that parents are well informed about what are healthy foods and how to prepare healthy meals, but often do not eat in compliance with their knowledge in their homes.

He shared with use an advice for all parents: “The best way to persuade children to eat something healthy is to let them take part in preparing meals, so they will be creative and will accept healthy food.”

Nemanja says that workshops organized within the project “Nutrition Friendly Schools” are very useful – both for parents and for teaching staff, but also for management of primary schools.

“One of the goals of the workshops is to break the widespread prejudice that a healthy meal must be complicated and expensive.  For a healthy diet, you do not need time, but will.

During a pause, we asked him to provide us with several “good” and “bad” foods that children should consume as much as possible, or which should be avoided.

“Some of the good foods are integral bread, muesli, fruits, vegetables, fish, yogurt, kefir, young cheese and similar, while bad foods are hotdog, pate, soda, salami, snacks, candy, lollipops and industrial sweets in general,” says Nemanja, adding that experience at UNICEF’s workshops confirms that children learn best through direct experience, or when they are offered to combine different foods through a game and prepare a healthy meal.

UNICEF Bosnia and Herzegovina conducts the project “Nutrition friendly schools” in cooperation with the competent ministries, public health institutes, NGO Public Health Partnership and the Association of Chefs of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Under the slogan “Eat Well, Grow Well”, our goal is to, together with children, parents, and teaching staff, develop awareness of the importance of adopting and nurturing healthy lifestyle habits.