Students of the First Primary School Ilidža ,“ learned how to prepare themselves a healthy lunch.

Preparing healthy lunch – the best party ever!

Bojana Karanović for UNICEF
Pripema zdrave užine – najbolja zabava ikad!
06 December 2018

When we asked Omar, who is enrolled in the first grade, why is it good to eat fruits and vegetables, he immediately told us: “Beetroot is good for blood and carrot is good for vision.”

That in a sincere friendship everything is shared, we were convinced during the workshop “Nutrition friendly schools,” at the First Primary School in Ilidža. Seven-year-old Ajla did not particularly like a transparent lunch box, and her friend Ajša gave her a pink lunch box. After that, they together made a healthy lunch and continued to choose their favorite groceries with their peers.

During the workshop organized on the International Day Against Diabetes, on 14 November, eight primary school students from the First Primary School Ilidža in Sarajevo learned about what is a healthy pyramid, and through the game with nutritionists and famous chefs, they learned how to combine different foods and prepare themselves a healthy lunch.

The first workshop, organized under the UNICEF project “Nutrition friendly schools,” has passed in a great atmosphere. Both students and teachers were very excited. Some of the children even said that this was their best day ever.

Under the slogan "Eat Well, Grow Well” famous chefs from the Association of Chefs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, through the game in a fun way showed why it is important to eat fruits, vegetables, cereals, dairy products, and meat. The students got around four tables where four types of healthy foods were exhibited, and the cooks talked about how important it is to eat healthily. After that, children got aprons and cooking caps, so they could choose their own groceries for their healthy meal.

The girls mostly chose fruits and vegetables, while milk, cheese, and meat were mostly used by boys. Six-year-old Azra says that she loves carrot, apple, and tangerine, while her classmate Omar, says that he loves meat, especially chicken, and his favorite vegetable is a carrot. Omar says that he also likes fruits, his favorite being bananas, apples, kiwi and tangerine. In addition to carrot, he also eats lettuce and beetroot. When we asked him why it is good to eat fruits and vegetables, he immediately told us: “Beetroot is good for blood and carrot is good for vision.”

We found students from the class “First 1” at the table with fruits and vegetables. They told us immediately that this was their best day ever. Six-year-old Nađa says she put fruit in her lunch box because she “likes it and because it is healthy.”

Amila Podžić, a teacher of the class “First 4”, says that she and her students are fascinated by the workshop.

zdrava ishrana Prve osnovne škole Ilidža

“I’m sure that tomorrow there will be a heated reaction and that they will all share their enthusiasm. We, at school, are trying to develop an awareness of healthy eating. At the first parents’ meeting, I asked parents to bring healthy meals for lunch, and parents really keep up to that, so the children are eating fruits and vegetables. This workshop is really perfect, and I hope we will continue like that. Given the fact that they are first-grade students, it is important to start developing a healthy lifestyle from the start,” says teacher Amila.

Cook Zaim Erdan, from the Association of Chefs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said he was glad to respond to the UNICEF’s invitation because he believes it is important to talk about healthy eating habits as much as possible among the youngest.

“The most important segment in child development is a healthy diet. The large presence of fast-food is not good and we need to promote healthy food as much as possible. We, from the Association of Chefs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, hope to contribute to the development of parents’ awareness of the importance of preparing healthy meals for their children, and that children learn since their young age that they need to eat healthily,” says Chef Zaim.

Famous chefs say that almost all healthy foods are available to parents and children – fruits and vegetables are available at low prices, as well as chicken when prepared in a good way. Parents are advised to prepare themselves lunch that children will bring to school because they will by that control what their children eat.

Cook Zaim is satisfied with the results of the workshop at the First Elementary School Ildža. “It is wonderful to be surrounded by children, who honestly say what they like. Also, the positive shifts are visible, children love fruits and vegetables, they like meat, and parents can teach them from their young age how to properly eat the food they like. We are here for parents if they need any advice and we are open to participation in all projects of this kind.”

Arif Ćelović, the Director of the First Primary School Ilidža also did not hide his satisfaction that the project was implemented in this school.

“We have an obligation to take care of our children, their health and their nutrition; therefore, we have an obligation to teach children how to live healthy, eat healthily, so we do not have the generations of sick or obese children. In this way we can succeed, in cooperation with our parents,” said the school Director, stressing the importance of the support of UNICEF, the municipality and the ministry in charge of achieving a common goal – that schools throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina have cuisines where healthy food will be served.

In addition to the workshop with children, a workshop with parents will be organized in the upcoming days, and the winners will have the opportunity to prepare healthy meals through entertainment and socialization with the older population in the “Centar za zdravo starenje.”

A nutritionist from the Public Health Institute of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dr. Aida Filipović, says that workshops with children are very useful because healthy lifestyle among the youngest can be promoted through the game. Dr. Aida used her time with the youngest to test their knowledge. To her question, “What gives us vitamins and minerals,” the children readily responded with “fruits and vegetables,” and they also knew the answer to the question “what helps us to grow” – everyone answered “milk!”

At the end of the workshop, the cooking jury chose the winners – the chefs carefully examined children’s boxes and concluded that all the students showed great knowledge of healthy food, and the only thing they could do, is to pronounce all the first graders as the winners.

In this way, UNICEF continues to implement the program of promotion of healthy food among children throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the first phase of the project, UNICEF organized a series of workshops for preschool children, and in the upcoming period, the focus will be on presenting healthy nutrition programs among students of first and second grades of primary schools.

Workshops on healthy nutrition are organized for students, parents and teaching staff in four primary schools in Sarajevo and Banja Luka. In addition to the First Elementary School Ilidža, the Primary School “Isak Samokovlija” in Sarajevo, and the primary schools “Branko Radičević” and “Jovan Jovanović Zmaj” in Banja Luka participate in the project.

The project “Nutrition friendly schools“ is conducted by UNICEF Bosnia and Herzegovina in cooperation with the competent ministries, public health institutions, 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, teachers, develop awareness of the importance of adopting and nurturing healthy lifestyle habits.