Excerpts from IAAND Passport, Issue 40.5.  Feb 6 2019

KERI Grant Winner
Julie Joy (Tom) CDN. RD. IAAND.KERI 
Kids Eat Right International UAE 
Adapted and translated ppt presentation of Healthy Schools. It’s a Team Effort

First and foremost, let me thank our reputed and prestigious Academy, President Madame Ms. Esther, earlier presidents, forth coming president, all leadership team, and our UAE representative for providing me this opportunity to work in this Kids Eat Right International KERI. On behalf of UAE Abu Dhabi, we use this opportunity of conveying our regards to all our IAAND countries members.

The mini grant has provided me an opportunity to advocate and empower the role of registered dietitian nutritionist in School Nutrition and the Kids Eat Right International initiative. I was able to promote KERI IAAND in UAE Middle East and am glad to be part of it. The grant enabled me to conduct training to 80 teachers of preschool, grade 1-10th grade thereby reaches 1500 students and their families.

It was quite satisfying task aiding them to clear their Nutrition and Dietetics related inquires and misunderstandings. We addressed ways to rectify the food related troubleshoots areas. We discussed topics such as how to improvise, food packing plastic reduction, how to minimize the cost of healthy food, how to reduce food waste, the importance of going organic, health issues and related recommendations, food groups and serving size importance, and the difference between “junk” food and “real” food. Topics also included how to manage or to reduce sugar and high fat food and go healthy, ways to prefer healthy fat, teachers and kids physical exercise requirements, movements, proper hydration, and the importance of healthy food availability and emphasis to families, kids, and teachers.

The adaptation emphasized on the above topics related to the presentation and translation processes involved educated influential Arabic women and an official translator. The main focus was the topic  “healthy school.” It was a team effort, and included a related hand out on picky eaters. Our team included myself, Ms. Meriza Tom, Ms. Najla, and Ms. Reem. Each person provided value and  respect to  environmental, economic, social, and cultural factors in decision making process. We recognized diversity as our strength, too.

The materials were a great resource, and highly effective to adapt according to school nutrition requirements for schools/families /teachers /kids. More recent advancement and updated of the above said topics were discussed during the workshop.

A global community of dietitian’s initiatives spread out to Arab populations. KERI material extends widely across the nutrition education communities working with school students/kids in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and all the Emirates UAE but also across the Middle East who speak Arabic and would benefit from the translation in Arabic. It will continue to enable and empower professional development and promote international collaboration in the global nutrition communities.

In conclusion, it was a very enlightening experience working on KERI and these programs and initiatives are very much appreciated and required to promote. In busy modern society these updated evidence based and adapted material require to stretch out more and result in Healthy schools, families and kids and thereby healthy society! Consequently, guiding out nutrition and MyPlate to schools results in society welfare and individual family wellbeing. The process included many steps, such as communicating with authorities, organizing- plan -prioritize and check out the process. Following the policies, procedures and work ethics, elegant sound decent presenting styles, oversee the tasks are some of the executive functional responsible skills required for the success. Being transparent able to reach realistic goals and achievements is also necessary. Finally, reaching out to local community, dietitian and nutritional professionals to use material effectively will bring out a brighter society.

Last but not least, my thanks for our coordinator, Ms. Jamie Wise. Once again, many thanks for this opportunity and our team put our earnest effort.

School: Nursery, Grade 1-10 Grade students
School Toolkit: Healthy Schools. It’s a Team Effort
Adaptation of Toolkit: Adopted in such a way picky eaters pattern often noticed in other grades too choosing certain groups and restricting other groups. Hence provided importance to cover all the grades and to develop maintain healthy school and related team effort.
Translation of Toolkit to Arabic: Ppt for school teachers and students of preschool grade 1-10 graders.

Julie Joy summarized her project in the recent IAAND Newsletter.