In Qatar there is an increasingly postive action being taken by local organisations and individuals to highlight the importance of healthy eating. Ahead of next month’s Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) the QTA, along with key partners, has been taking this message to the classroom.
The QTA have teamed up with the Ministry of Education, Your Health First, and Qatar Culinary Professionals to deliver a healthy food and nutrition awareness program to 30 schools around Qatar. For the following two weeks, teams from these organisations will be takiing the message of nutrition and healthy living to primary and middle schools in Doha, Al Wakra and Al Khor.
UPDATE: Check out our features on the QIFF 2016 – The Pearl Qatar Beach Pop Up and QIFF 2016 – Katara Foodie Zone. It will help you plan your way around Qatar International Food Festival. You will find Menus with pricings, and our rather surprising first impressions!
For full coverage about QIFF 2016 check out the following Features:
‘Your Health First’ Schools Programme
During the visits, nutritionists from Your Health First will help students distinguish between healthy nutrition and unhealthy foods, and understand the benefits and harms of each. Members of QCP will prepare healthy and tasty snacks in front of the students, helping them gain a visual understanding of where food comes from and an appreciation of healthy alternatives to common snacks.
“Sahtak Awalan; Your Health First” is an initiative developed in partnership between the Ministry of Public Health and Weill Cornel Medical College in Qatar that uses media, digital, and grassroots campaigns to make information about healthy lifestyles and preventive measures easily accessible to the local community.
“This new initiative is a wonderful opportunity for Your Health First to continue its work with young people, ensuring they remain fit and healthy and are able to meet the challenges of Qatar National Vision 2030,” said Nesreen Al-Rifai, Chief Communications Officer at WCM-Q. “By the time QIFF begins, I am sure we will have reached out to hundreds of children and had a real impact on their diet. Educating children about the benefits of a healthy diet and providing them with the knowledge to make informed choices perfectly complements the mission and vision of Your Health First.”
Chef Baran Yucel, Chairman at Qatar Culinary Professionals, was excited for the QCP to take a role in this initiative: “Our aim is to bring together a group of professional Chefs who are going to teach young students how to eat right and, in doing so, become a responsible member of the community. Any food that requires enhancing by the use of chemical substances is dangerous to our children’s health. In order to improve the health of our families, we advise members of the community to stay away from processed food and to go organic.”
School children will also be treated to live demonstrations from Chefs from the Armenian restaurant Mamig. Local resident Ghanem Al Sulaiti has already been out and about at local schools teaching them about fruits and vegetables. Ghanem is well-known for being passionate about healthy and nutritional meals, with an emphasis on the benefits of a vegan lifestyle.
Touring around elementary schools to promote healthy living for the kids as part of of @qiff_ school campaign #QIFF pic.twitter.com/OAUw51XA9W
— Ghanim (@GhanimAlSulaiti) February 23, 2016
The Director of Festivals and Events at QTA, Mashal Shahbik, wanted “to create a bridge between the enormous effort made on National Sport Day to help people kick-start a healthy lifestyle and the nation-wide food festival taking place in March.
Culinary experiences are cultural, social, and entertaining. It is also crucial for all of us, especially our children, to remember that they are nutritional, and we are grateful to the support of our partners for developing this innovative way of reminding students across Qatar.”
The Tourism Authority is also in talks with the Ministry of Education to make special access to QIFF available to school children as a way of diversifying their experiences of food. It is anticipated that these visits would occur during the weekdays.
Qatar International Food Festival 2016
Qatar International Food Festival was first organised by Qatar Tourism Authority in 2010 to showcase Qatar’s multiple food, beverage and hospitality offerings from varied cultures. Last year’s festival received over 170,000 visitors including regional and international guests. QTA and co-host Qatar Airways have confirmed that this year will see the Festival experience extending to a week-long event (22-28 March), and the addition of satellite Festival experiences at many of the country’s other landmarks and eateries.
The 2016 QIFF will extend beyond the main venue at the Museum of Islamic Art Park, sharing the Festival experience with visitors to many of the country’s landmarks and eateries, including the Pearl-Qatar and Katara Cultural Village. World renowned chefs will join Doha’s top restaurants to celebrate food in its various forms, with the freshest ingredients and latest culinary innovations. Chinese food-lovers will also have plenty to look forward to with Chinese cuisine featuring as part of Qatar-China 2016 Year of Culture celebrations.