Pacific children launch Pacific Kids Food Revolution to promote good health and nutrition
On this World Children’s Day, Pacific children are standing up for their right to lead a healthy, happy life
Suva, Fiji, 20 November 2020 – Today, millions of children around the globe are celebrating World Children’s Day to promote child rights – a day for children, by children. In Fiji, children officially launched the Pacific Kids Food Revolution to promote healthy eating in the region.
“Before being part of the Pacific Kids Food Revolution, I did not have much interest in my health and wellbeing. I am so thankful that through this fun and exciting programme, I have learnt to appreciate our local food,” said Chance Wong, 14, a ‘food warrior’ of the Pacific Kids Food Revolution.
Pacific Kids Food Revolution is a children’s cooking show that uses the power of reality television to share the important message on healthy eating using fresh, local indigenous food that can be grown in backyard gardens. The four episodes focus on recipes for making a fruit salad, green banana salad, simboro and green burger, with the fruit salad being the first episode to be launched today.
“Programmes like these provide children a platform, not only to develop their academic skills, but also positions them as role models for their peers. Eating right and having a balanced meal is taught right from lower primary to higher secondary. It is important that our curriculum continues to reinforce the importance of having a well-balanced meal,” said the Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, Hon. Rosy Akbar.
“Micro-nutrient deficiencies like Anemia, Vitamin A deficiency and the high prevalence of overweight and obesity especially among the adolescents and youths across Fiji need to be addressed. We understand that there is a common solution to all these problems - healthy and diversified diets and lifestyle. Our Ministry is putting all its efforts in ensuring that these problems are addressed but with a solution that is tailored to our local context and is Fiji friendly,” said the Minister for Health and Medical Services, Hon. Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete.
Through this partnership between the Fijian government, UNICEF and Pacific Island Food Revolution, children now have the opportunity to take lead in demonstrating to their families, schools and communities on how health and nutrition issues faced in the Pacific are preventable through simple recipes that include affordable, nutritious food.
“We are pleased that children are standing up for their rights on this momentous occasion of World Children’s Day and playing an active role in educating other children on how to cook, prepare and eat healthy, nutritious foods,” said UNICEF Pacific Representative, Sheldon Yett. “We thank our partners, the Fijian government and Pacific Island Food Revolution, in supporting UNICEF to provide a platform for children to raise their voice and promote good health in their country and the region.”
Pacific Kids Food Revolution aims to showcase that local food can be easy, convenient and made very exciting attracting any child’s taste buds and at the same time supports children to thrive and better perform at school while limiting the severity and frequency of illness.
“Pacific Island Food Revolution’s approach is unique. We utilize media and provide local healthy food content that is both, educational and entertaining, for children and adults to enjoy,” said Wame Valentine, the project’s Communications and Partnership Manager. “Our goal is to change behaviour away from nutrient-deficient food to good food choices, and we hope to continue working with UNICEF Pacific and the government to make that happen.”
Notes to Editors:
About the Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services:
The Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services remains firmly committed to maintain a high standard of efficient, equitable, accessible and affordable health care service delivery to all Fijians through maintaining the Universal Health Coverage by leaving no one behind.
About the Fijian Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts:
The Fijian Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts is responsible for the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of educational legislations, policies and programmes in Fiji. MEHA provides the structures, human resources, budget and administrative and management support to ensure that the quality of service delivery is maintained at a high level.
About Pacific Island Food Revolution:
Pacific Island Food Revolution is a behaviour change project that aims to combat the disturbingly high rate of non-communicable diseases in the Pacific by promoting local healthy food. Funded by the governments of Australia and New Zealand, PIFR uses an evidence-based, culturally relevant approach that uses a range of media including reality TV, radio, social media and strategic partnerships to encourage good food choices.
For more information, visit: www.pacificislandfoodrevolution.com
For more information, please contact:
Alrina Ali, Fijian Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts, Tel: +679 9986490, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunil Chandra, Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Tel: +679 8905053, email@example.com
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.