Posted on April 09, 2014

Encouraging healthy eating habits in children and their families was the focus of the Community Health Rodeo at Newton International School. 

“Eleven Bachelor of Science Nursing students from the University of Calgary in Qatar have been working with students at Newton School D Ring since January, 2014. These students enthusiastically embraced their role in the school community to understand what they could do to support health promotion activities with the school aged children as their focused population. From planting seeds to having cooking competitions, the students remained focused on their goal of raising awareness with school aged children and parents about healthy eating,” explains UCQ Faculty member Debbie Sheppard-Lemoine.

The Community Health Rodeo marked completion of a UCQ Community Health Nursing Course project that began in January. The purpose of the project was, as UCQ student group leader Sara Al Meer points out, “to decrease the amount of junk food students consume, and increase awareness for the students and their families of healthy versus unhealthy food.”  

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The Community Health Rodeo at Newton International School was well-attended by students and parents. The children proudly showed the vegetable garden they planted under the guidance of a local farmer; Rodeo participants were treated to tasty healthy snacks provided by Toscan Restaurant and UCQ, and learned how to incorporate healthy foods into their daily lives from an HMC dietician. Everyone enjoyed an interactive game that reinforced all the children had learned from UCQ students in the past three months about the benefits of healthy eating.

“We have been delighted to support the University of Calgary in their project and are grateful to all the nursing students who worked hard to make the work and presentations interesting and stimulating for the pupils of our school,” says Newton International School Principal, Trudie Masterson.  “Healthy eating is a life choice and we as a school support every activity that will encourage children and parents to become more aware of making healthy choices.”

UCQ students participating in the healthy eating project are Amal Hel HK Al-Amash, Salway Ahmed DA Al-Enazi, Khawla Jumah SK Al-Hitmi, Hamada Qayed Yahya Al-Jabni, Sara Saleh HA Al-Marri, Amal Salman Saleh Al-Obaidli, Metha Khalid DA Al-Rumaihi, Amena Hamam M Al-Shemali; Anam Abdo Al-Mardahi;  Ebtesam Abdulla SS Jassim, and Maryam Alireza Shaikhameri.