Long Term Lecturer of the Healthy 5 Program Jitka Pokorna talks about food with children in kindergartens or primary schools. About what’s good to eat, how to prepare a delicious snack or how to shop. They’ll play shop with the little ones, discuss nutritional trends with the older ones, and together they’ll try to cook something small.
He also participates in the Finale Zdravé 5 small chefs competition, where it is now possible to register your team, whether for the school or the organization, or parents with children. The competition is celebrating its 10th anniversary, which is why the theme of this year’s competition is celebration. And we also talked about children’s parties in an interview for Vitalia.cz server.
The theme of this year’s Healthy 5 Finals competition is celebration. Have you ever had this topic in a contest?
The theme of preparing meals for the celebration is competing for the very first time. But of all the years, some teams have always signed up with a festive dish or a recipe adapted just for the party.
Do you leave everything to the competitors, or do you specify the idea of a competition meal?
The only condition is to maintain the food balance according to our principles. So exactly what we teach kids by teaching Healthy 5 throughout the school year. But otherwise, it all depends on the competitors and their imagination, their creativity, their creativity. The price of the recipe should be around 200 CZK for 3 servings.
10th edition of the national culinary competition for children
Healthy 5 Finals – you can register until 2. 5. 2022
Teams of three members from every kindergarten, primary school, children’s home or low-threshold or leisure clubs in the Czech Republic can participate in the first round of the competition. Parents with a child or children from 4 years old can also report. More information on Healthy 5.
Do you also cover the theme of children’s parties within the Healthy 5 programme? Is there any interest in this topic from teachers or parents?
Yes, we even play a game with the children, where they choose the food they would like to have at their party. When they look for something unhealthy, we explain why it’s good to replace it with something else.
Preparing refreshments for a children’s party is such an ongoing topic that parents are looking for alternatives to prepare their children, even in healthier ways.
In your experience, what is a children’s party classic?
I think parents are thinking a lot more about baby food, which is great. Celebrations are held on various topics and entertainment plays a big role here. With more and more talk about healthy eating, potato chips and cheap salty snacks are no longer appealing to children…
And what children will never get tired of are fruits and their different varieties. For example, fruit salads, kebabs, interesting cut shapes or folded pictures.
Healthy TIP 5: Get interesting needles to celebrate. They can be found, for example, with animals, hearts or funny ones in the form of leering eyes. The children will then have even more fun picking fruits and vegetables.
Would you recommend anything else for younger and older children?
At a younger age, I would bet on tried and true foods and dishes from them. For example, cheese spreads with vegetables on crackers, fruit and vegetable skewers, sandwiches with ham, cheese and vegetables. At a later age, I would easily experiment and include, for example, exotic fruits, sliced vegetables with different types of non-traditional dips. And of course homemade lemonade or homemade iced tea.
Recipe: Party pineapple full of exotic fruits
according to Healthy 5
- 1 pineapple
- 2 kiwi fruit
- 1 banana
- 2 mandarins
- ½ manga
- pomegranate seeds
- a few grape balls
Cut the whole pineapple lengthwise with a large knife. Then use a small knife to cut the flesh. Cut some of the flesh, about half, into small pieces. We cut all other fruits into cubes, wheels or any other shape. Arrange the sliced and mixed fruit in the hollowed out halves of the pineapple and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. You can also decorate the physalis.
Is it possible to make the party healthy and tasty at the same time?
The basis should be fruits and vegetables. Due to the variability, you can prepare many light recipes, after which the children will not get a stomach ache. Even the cake can be unbaked from sponge cake, sour cream, cottage cheese and fruit. I think the greatest charm lies in creativity, where children must above all attract and entertain food. So that the food is very colorful, served in an interesting way, shaped, etc.
Also suitable tips are various muffins, salads, kebabs, fruit cheesecakes, homemade ice cream, homemade cookies, crackers, sticks or desserts in a glass. I would definitely involve the children in the preparation of the catering, they like it better and enjoy the food more.
What “transgressions” would you tolerate when it’s exceptional?
We don’t ban children in the first place. We only explain what is good for their body, what isn’t and why. So even if they occasionally eat a piece of chocolate or a cake, nothing bothers them. The most important thing is how much and how often they consume it. Less healthy foods, sweets and other delicacies should be rather exceptional additions to the diet.
How do you generally view “exceptions” in food? Is it “sometimes nothing happens” or is it the opening of a “forbidden room”?
I think nothing can be forbidden. Everything can be prepared in a healthier variant. Here are some examples. Pancakes don’t always have to be chocolate and whipped cream. They can be garnished with cottage cheese, fruit and a little homemade jam. Instead of fries, we can make slices of baked potatoes drizzled in olive oil with a homemade yogurt and herb dip. Instead of the cookie you buy, we bake a homemade cake or cake. There really are many options and alternatives.
What really should not appear at a children’s party?
Fatty and fried foods. I would avoid semi-finished products and heavily industrially processed foods. Sausages are also not suitable for children. Also, for example, sweets with fillings and sprinkles.
How to manage parties in kindergartens, for example? Is it still true today, what do I remember, that parents were instructed to “bring something sweet and crisps”?
It depends on the teacher. I recently saw large raisins being handed out instead of candy in class. And the children were definitely not disappointed, on the contrary, they joined several times…
Long term teacher of the Healthy 5 program and mother of 4 children.
Zdravá 5 is a national educational program of the Albert Endowment Fund for primary schools and kindergartens, focusing on a healthy lifestyle, especially in the area of healthy eating.