Chiquichefs: learning to cook and eat from children
Learning to eat is one of the basic pillars to lead a healthy lifestyle throughout life. Therefore, it is important to lay the foundations from the earliest stages and transmit the importance of good nutrition to children.
Professors Marta Jiménez Rodríguez (professor at the IES Lázaro Cárdenas, and mother at the Antoniorrobles school) and Áurea González López (teacher of Children and primary school at the Antoniorrobles school), knew about it and therefore decided to start up Chiquichefs, a project for that schoolchildren learn to eat well and identify healthy products by preparing their own recipes from professional chefs. “It’s about cooking in the classroom and making different games that link cooked food with the content that children have to study in class,” says Marta Jiménez.
For starters, they worked with cereals, food for a good breakfast, mushrooms and dairy. “We teach them where the food comes from, we go out to look for them in the mountains and then we cook with them through very simple recipes transmitted through professional chefs”, explains González, who emphasizes that this allows the children to teach them to their parents when they come home
Imparting culinary culture and teaching about nutrition is the main objective that motivated the two teachers to launch this initiative, “very necessary”, especially in a country like ours, in which “the Mediterranean diet has just been declared intangible heritage of Humanity by Unesco “, recalls Jiménez.
Know to choose
Choosing what we give to children between breakfast and lunch is not always easy. From the Antoniorrobles School they teach the little ones what they should eat by elaborating a weekly calendar in which they indicate what foods they have to bring each day, alternating different nutrients. “After this meal, we usually do not wash our teeth, so we emphasize the importance of a lunch without pastry sugars and, instead, recommend nuts or fruit,” explains Jiménez.
Knowing how to choose is one of the objectives that they pursue with the activities of Chiquichefs, for that reason, they explain to the children how to carry out an analysis of the nutrients of various foods (cereals, popcorn …) so that they have to choose after what they consider to be healthier, as well as to identify what amounts of calcium or vitamins contain.
Thanks to this initiative, parents have understood the work done by teachers in this regard and the need to cooperate with them by transmitting good eating habits. “Once a month we make a breakfast in the school dining room, to which the parents of the students are invited, and the City Council helps provide the necessary food and infrastructure to carry out the activity,” González concludes.
This initiative is mainly supported by the voluntary work of families, teachers and friends, with the participation of Javier Andrés Blumenfeld, pediatric endocrinologist and father at the Antoniorrobles school, in nutritional counseling. From the center they assure that their objective is to obtain more resources in order to continue growing and take this project to other schools.
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