Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar (WCM-Q) and JeemTV (formerly Al Jazeera Children’s Channel), teamed up to produce a healthy cooking competition for children ‘The Healthy Eating Show’.

Children’s chef Ann Cooper from the United States, who supervises the school meals for almost 10,000 students, is the host, chef and judge of the program. Chef Ann demonstrated recipes for a number of healthy meals that are suitable for children to cook at home. The contestants on the show had to reproduce the meals in the studio before having their creations judged. The aim is to teach children about good nutrition and encourage them to eat healthy food, thereby preventing lifestyle-related diseases.

Nesreen Al Rifai, Chief Communications Officer at WCM-Q, said the collaboration with JeemTV allowed the Your Health First: Sahtak Awalan campaign to reach tens of thousands of children.

Sahtak Awalan is very much a community health campaign and is very visible in Qatar. We are always out and about meeting people both young and old and encouraging them to adopt healthy lifestyles. But teaming up with JeemTV has allowed us to spread the healthy eating message even further.’

Chef Ann said it had been a great experience to film the series and that teaching children the basics of cooking was the first step to introducing them to healthy eating.

The kids have been great, they all worked really hard. I think the thing that they really got out of this was the teamwork and the experience of cooking – which is the first stage of learning about health. We need to encourage our kids to cook and the interest in healthy and healthy food will then follow.’

Recipes that the children cooked included healthy versions of pizzas, muffins, smoothies. The recipes made use of ingredients like wholewheat flour, rather than refined white flour, and lots of fruit, vegetables and lean meats.

Eleven-year-old Rawda Mustafa, who attends Doha Academy, was one of the children to take part.

I make salads at home and also cook fish and chicken. It’s important to eat healthy food as it is not good for us to be fat and healthy food gives us the vitamins and minerals our bodies need. I learned today how to make easy healthy meals that taste nice.’

The television show will be broadcasted every Monday at 6 pm from 9 November 2015. It will be repeated at 9:30pm on Monday, at noon on Tuesday and 10 am on Saturday.