Thursday, 18 July 2013

Nutrition and Hygiene Workshop with Kids in Naddi

A few weeks ago, RuralhealthCARE India ran a workshop in Fun Club (the after school program in Naddi) to help kids learn about nutrition and hygiene.  The workshop started off with a science experiment showing what happens when a drop of soap is placed in a plate filled with milk and food coloring, and how the soap seems to ‘push away’ all of the colors in the plate.  The experiment was followed with a conversation about soap and hand washing.  The kids discussed why washing hands is beneficial, and when they felt it is most important to wash hands: before cooking food, before eating, and after using the toilet. 

Watch a video of the Science Experiment!

            Next, we talked about nutrition.  The kids learned about how it is important to eat a variety of different foods: grains and pulses, fruits and vegetables, oil and nuts, and foods from animals.  Everyone called out foods from each of the different food groups to write on a poster.  For ‘grains and pulses,’ they mentioned dal, channa, rice, chapatti, and rajma.  Under ‘fruits and vegetables,’ they brought up mangoes, bananas, apples, tomatoes, cucumbers, and several others.  ‘Foods from animals’ included milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, chicken, and mutton.  Lastly, ‘oil and nuts’ included butter, ghee, and peanuts.  The kids learned why each type of food is important.  At the end of the workshop, everyone drew the silliest pictures they could imagine that included at least one food from each of the food groups.  Before they went home, each of the kids got to eat some fruit- but not before washing their hands!

            Overall, the workshop was very successful.  The kids learned a lot about how to make healthy choices and why they are important, and the science experiment proved to be a great way to get everyone engaged.  The kids also had a lot of fun drawing pictures- it gave them a chance to be creative and show their artistic sides while exploring food and nutrition.  Using science and art as tools for teaching and engaging kids seems to be an effective way to get everyone interested in the topics, and the health workshops in Fun Club will hopefully have positive implications for the kids in the long run as they grow older.  Our hope is that by maintaining a presence of RuralHealthCARE India in the community and continuing to promote healthy decisions, the kids will adopt more healthy behaviors that they will keep up throughout their lives.

Craig Rothenberg, USA
Rural HealthCARE India
June - August 2013

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