Thursday, September 20, 2012

Laulicht center and Nutrition activities in Ofakim

This city-wide program improves the health of at-risk children through launching nutrition and healthy living educational programs in schools and community centers and educating parents and teachers about nutrition and health.  It improves children’s nutrition, physical fitness and dental care habits, countering rising rates of obesity, malnutrition and disease, and enabling children to fulfill their educational and social potential.  It focuses on teaching parents and educators practical, low-cost methods for improving the eating and health habits of at-risk children.
Location: 73 Herzl St. Ofakim (opposite Kikar Hayona)

The program “The Race to the Kitchen” – each time the dietician presents another country, they learn a little about the culture, the food, eating customs, a few words. Last week they did China, this week Switzerland. They learned last week about chopsticks, eating slowly, widening horizons. Each child gets to create something of his/her own to eat, it’s a fun activity and very educational. They’re proud of what they make. They learn that food is made up of healthy components. Today they're going to make a Swiss pie with cheese, vegetables etc and a cookie cake.
The nutrition program works with the municipality. They’ve seen changes in the eating habits of the children and it’s changing the way the city looks. Ofakim this year is a pilot city for “Healthy Cities” including meetings with doctors and nurses, dieticians, right now in four kindergartens. We’re the pilot because we’ve run this program for three years and have identified the huge potential in recruiting professionals. It requires a lot from the kindergarten teachers and assistants. But it’s very attractive. The breakfast exposes them to healthy foods like tehina and sardines that they might not receive at home, setting a table, healthy eating, clearing away the table.
The approach of the Center was that most of the activities would take place here, we’re building a unique center to serve the entire community. In the future we’ll have parents’ groups, mothers’ groups. How to cook, nutritional support, etc. We’ll have a syllabus of courses and activities to empower families and develop the community. There’s huge potential here. There’s a growing problem of obesity, especially with girls. They eat junk and there's no awareness.
The Kitchen’s target audiences are professionals, parents, youth, children. It gives an equal introduction to all, good therapy, emotional boost.

Photos: “Race for the Kitchen” this week in Switzerland. This is the second meeting. Adi is the dietician. She explains a little bit about Europe, Switzerland. The kids are aged 9-12. They’ve been referred by the Social Welfare Department of the Municipality.
How do we make pies, what are the ingredients, what’s in a recipe. Each child fills half a cup with carrot, zucchini, onion, pepper, mix them up.
They have a 10th grade volunteer. Shoshana is the House Mother and cook.
Adi mixes cottage cheese, eggs, flour and each child takes a large spoonful into his/her cup, mix and then pour into the molds. There's huge satisfaction.

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