With childhood obesity and diabetes rates still rising in the UAE, we applaud any initiative that promotes a healthier lifestyle for kids. Which is why, when Lakeland announced their plans to launch a new project targeted at helping school kids make healthier choices, Time Out Kids jumped at the chance to join in.
‘The family’ is the cornerstone of the essence of Lakeland and the ‘Health Initiative’ ticked all of our boxes and sounded like great fun,’ says Nigel Rush, the company’s brand manager in the GCC. ‘There is more to being a Lakeland store than just opening the doors of the shop in the morning. Lakeland love to have fun and what better way to do that than rolling our sleeves up and teaching kids to fall in love with healthy food?’
So last month sees us heading down to Gems World Academy, along with the Lakeland team, the Organic Foods & Café, personal trainers from Platform-3 Fitness, and the ladies from Soul Communications who had put the event together. Greeted by GWA’s excited Grade 1 pupils, a fun morning is in store, aiming to teach kids every aspect of what keeps their bodies fit and strong, from regular exercise, to the combinations of food that we eat.
Food and nutrition
In this session, run by the Organic Foods & Café, we learn all about the healthy foods we should be eating every day. From whole grains and lean proteins, to lots of fruit and veg, and the best superfoods (such as goji berries and quinoa) – the nutritionist shows us the correct proportions that should go on our plate to keep us fit, strong and full of energy throughout the day.
With Time Out Kids in charge of the drawing contest, the pupils from GWA show off their new nutritional knowledge by sketching all of the food groups that should go into a healthy lunchbox. And what a talented bunch of kids! We are so impressed by both the drawings and the thinking that goes into them – everybody has obviously been listening in the nutrition class.
Outside in the fresh air, the guys from Platform-3 are a big hit, as the kids pit their wits against obstacle courses, show off their strength in a fun tug of war, and burn off some energy in the school playground. ‘Regular exercise is crucial for healthy development, growth and wellness of children (and parents, too!),’ says Benny Parihar, P-3’s managing director. He advises that parents should encourage kids to have at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day, which should include some more rigorous activities that leave them out of breath – it keeps the heart and body strong. ‘It’s proven that kids who participate in sports and exercise are healthier, which in turn means happier,’ he adds.
Back inside and cooling off, kids don aprons and get stuck in to the interactive cooking class, where the Lakeland team is showing them how to make their very own healthy version of ice cream using some of the nifty gadgets available instore. Using the ‘I Can Cook’ range, which is aimed at getting kids into the kitchen, kids are soon chopping up strawberries, stirring yoghurt and vanilla seeds, and churning away on the ice cream maker. Topped off with a superfood topping of crunchy chia seeds and goji berries, it’s a healthy snack to end a busy morning!
Check out more of our pictures from the day, as well as all of the entries in the drawing competition online at www.timeoutdubai.com/kids.