United they stand for healthy eating

Rokiah Mahmud

The saying “we are what we eat” implies how important regular meals are to everyone. Healhty eating is an essential part of life. Many people across the globe strive to eat as healthily as possible every day, but the food we consume do not always contain the necessary nutrients for our body.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 821 million people across the globe suffers from undernutrition, which means that one in 10 does not get enough food to lead an active and healthy lifestyle. In fact, undernutrition is the number one risk to health worldwide, greater than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

In response to the findings, an initiative to promote a healthy lifestyle was put forward by three local teachers, who were recipients of the Princess Maha Chakri Award (PMCA) – Lambak Kanan Primary School Headmistress Hajah Noorliah binti Haji Aspar (2019 recipient); retired chemistry teacher Lim Soh Ngo (2017 recipient); and Keriam Primary School Educator Hajah Ratnawati binti Haji Mohammad (2015 recipient). They were recognised for their contribution to education and the significant impact they had on students’ success.

The Fabulous ASEAN Breakfast is a project-based virtual collaboration involving students from 33 schools in 11 Southeast Asian countries, including six primary school students from Brunei Darussalam, during which they swapped simple and nutritious of breakfast recipes every day.

Participating students Ain Marsyanda binti Muhd Muhsen and Nur Fadiahtul Adlina binti Mohamad Saifuddien speaking to the media. PHOTO: BAHYIAH BAKIR

The three-month project created an awareness on the importance of consuming healthy meals and provided the students with 21st Century learning skills – communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking – to prepare them for the future.

In a recent interview with the Bulletin, 10-year-old student Ain Marsyanda binti Muhd Muhsen from Keriam Primary School said the project provided them with bountiful knowledge on the various types of breakfast meals consumed by their ASEAN peers.

She said her group shared one of her favourite breakfast dishes, tumpi, during the project.

“My friend and I were assisted by our teachers and parents in choosing what dish to introduce,” she said.

“I learnt how to make tumpi based on my mother’s recipe and the ingredients she always used. It is not hard but it is not easy either, as it was our first time attempting it.

“One of the participating countries, the Philippines, tried our recipe and commented that it was an easy dish to make, delicious and simple,” she said.

Meanwhile, her classmate Nur Fadhiatul Adlina binti Mohamad Saifuddien, also 10, said, “We were so excited to be part of the team. It exposed us to what our ASEAN friends consume for breakfast.”

The Royal Thai Embassy in Brunei Darussalam recently awarded the students for their meritorious efforts and the role that they played during the project.

Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand to Brunei Darussalam Wanthanee Viputwongsakul said the breakfast project was a brilliant idea and provided a platform for students to communicate and collaborate with their teachers, parents and students from other ASEAN member countries.

From the project, the envoy believed the students could develop creativity and thinking skills in overcoming further obstacles and challenges. “At the same time, this project helped to create awareness on the importance of having healthy and regular breakfast,” she said. “After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day especially for young and growing children.

She added, “This project not only brings a positive impact on the student’s learning but also on their daily life.”