OK, kids, strike a pose for a healthier lifestyle

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Home Affairs, Mr Amrin Amin, with pre-school children in a yoga session at the Singapore Muslim Women's Association (PPIS) Child Development Centre in Bukit Batok yesterday. Apart from teaching the childr
Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Home Affairs, Mr Amrin Amin, with pre-school children in a yoga session at the Singapore Muslim Women's Association (PPIS) Child Development Centre in Bukit Batok yesterday. Apart from teaching the children about healthy lifestyle habits, PPIS also launched the Fruity Friday initiative to help them include fruits in their diet.ST PHOTO: JEREMY KWAN

By carving a banana into a dolphin in a few simple steps, the fruit can both look fun and be a tasty snack.

Children at the Singapore Muslim Women's Association (PPIS) Child Development Centre in Bukit Batok yesterday learnt ways to make fruits look more appealing as they created banana dolphins, watermelon pizza and fruit kebab caterpillars.

The activities aimed to instil healthy eating habits. These included tasting fruits, as well as learning about their nutritional value and how to make them look more enticing.

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Home Affairs, Mr Amrin Amin, attended the session and joined the children in learning more about healthy lifestyle habits.

He also struck yoga poses with the children during an exercise session.

Pupils at the Bukit Batok centre range from those in their first year of playgroup to Kindergarten 2, and are aged between 18 months and six years old.

Mr Amrin shared with them the Health Promotion Board's My Healthy Plate concept, in which a tasty, well-balanced meal would have half the plate filled with fruits and vegetables, and a quarter with wholegrain foods, such as brown rice or wholemeal bread.

 
 
 

The rest should include food such as meat, fish, bean products and nuts.

At the event, PPIS launched the Fruity Friday initiative, which aims to help children and their families learn more about the importance of including fruits in their diet.

Children at the Bukit Batok centre, where the initiative is being piloted, will bring a fruit to school every Friday. Their parents are also invited to share healthy recipes.

Fruity Friday will be introduced in the other six PPIS Child Development Centres in the last quarter of this year.

Mr Amrin said the number of overweight children in mainstream schools has been rising, from 10 per cent in 2010 to 12 per cent in 2016.

He applauded the use of hands-on, creative and fun ways to help children get used to the taste of fruits and vegetables, adding that it is important to inculcate a love for healthy food from a young age.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 28, 2019, with the headline 'OK, kids, strike a pose for a healthier lifestyle'. Print Edition | Subscribe