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Young chefs in Abu Dhabi don aprons and learn to eat healthy

ABU DHABI // Children as young as five slipped on aprons, rolled up their sleeves and prepared to learn about including fish, rice and olives in their supper.

About 70 would-be chefs took part in the Kitchen Mission workshop at Marina Mall on Friday, to learn about healthy eating and cooking habits.

The food was not real and neither was the kitchen, but parents were optimistic that their children would learn the importance of a balanced diet.

The youngsters were briefed about the food pyramid, the ­nutritional value of ingredients, and took part in a food ­memory game.

“This was a very good activity because we learnt we should eat healthy food all the time,” said Drish Mahajan, 10, from India who won the game.

“There were no surprises. I already knew that bread was carbohydrate, and fish, ­chicken and eggs had protein,” said Drish, who was joined by his five-year-old brother, Aarav.

Their mother, Harshita ­Mahajan, hoped her sons would ­remember the “eat healthy and be tidy” message and stop asking for junk food.

Simon Quizon, a chef at ­Etihad Plaza, was keen to have his granddaughter Juliana Carlen, 5, participate.

“We want to expose her to this,” said the Filipino national as he quizzed Juliana on the benefits of carrots.

“The message will register with the children because when they are small they remember.”

When a supervisor asked each child to pick a protein-filled ingredient, they raced to grab miniature plastic fish out of their lunch boxes.

Dozens of families cheered as they watched their children learn to be healthy chefs.

“The goal is to promote healthy food with children – and here they prepared fish and salad for dinner – so they will not prepare junk food,” said Svetlana Panic, production assistant for eventboxonline, co-organiser of the event with Nickelodeon.

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The National