Catch da Flava - Kids' Nutrition

For our June 12th episode of Catch da Flava Youth Radio, host Diamond introduced the show with a segment interviewing her mom Rona Bailey who happens to be a her mom and the Student Nutrition Coordinator at Nelson Mandela Park Public School, which is just next door to our radio studio. Rona has worked for years a nutritionist, preparing meals for kids and young ones- even preparing meals for child stars on hit TV show “Degrassi”! So she has a great deal of experience when it comes to sharing how kids can learn to eat better. Diamond had a lot of great questions to ask Rona about her role to assist in the healthy lifestyles of students. Some of the questions Diamond asked were:

What is your role as a student nutrition coordinator at Nelson Mandela Park Public School? What do you do?

As the student nutrition coordinator you can't just whip up anything, there are some guideline that have to be met. What are the requirements relating to food and nutrition in schools?

Some kids are happy to snack on veggies and fruits, while others are a little bit pickier than the rest. How do you go about making lunches for the students that are both appealing and nutritious. How do you deal with the picky eaters?

Nelson Mandela being located in Regent Park, is constantly surrounded by many thriving cultures. Along with trying to provide a healthy lunch, how do tackle creating a menu for a school that houses children and youth from various backgrounds. Do you find it somewhat challenging?

How do you get your students involved in the planning of your lunches? Is there a special day where students can break the rules and get to eat that slice of pizza they've been wishing for?

What are your thoughts on schools and vending machines? Though there aren't any in Nelson Mandela, do you you think schools should offer healthy options in these vending machines?

Some of the answers were quite interesting and helpful. When it comes to how to make food more desirable for kids who are picky eaters, Rona had great suggestions which include using food colouring on food just to make it more fun to kids. It’s simple, effective, and doesn’t take away from the nutrition value of the meals the kids have to eat. In discussing how to cater to different palates and diverse cultures in the community and how to appeal to everyone, she has shared her tips and tricks to try to cater to everyone’s diverse background. Take a listen to the show to hear what they are:

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