Increasingly conscious that good dietary habits must be taught from infancy and adolescence, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment has set up the initiative “Mediterraneamos”. It is a programme through which the fundamentals of the Mediterranean Diet are instilled in Spain’s primary and secondary school students to make them aware of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
The initiative, which is taking place this year from April to November (with the summer holidays in July and August), is targeted at children and young people between the ages of 8 and 16 enrolled in schools in ten Spanish provinces: Sevilla, Zaragoza, Palma de Mallorca, Las Palmas, Valladolid, Barcelona, La Coruña, Logroño, Madrid and Pamplona. In total, 40,000 schools will participate, through workshops and recipe contests.
“Let’s learn to eat” and “Let’s learn to cook” workshops
The first activity, in the form of workshops, is targeted at students between the ages of 8 and 12 and aims to teach dietary habits to the youngest. “Let’s learn to eat” has a theoretical part where the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet are discussed; and a practical part, where a group of students produce their own recipes with products from this dietary model.
In contrast, the “Let’s learn to cook” workshop is targeted at young people between the ages of 13 and 16. The objective, in this case, is to get teenagers involved in cooking, and at the same time familiarise them with products typical of the Mediterranean Diet and their recipes. It also has a theoretical part, where they learn about and debate the importance of correct nutrition, but also the dangers of alcohol consumption and the reduction of food waste. Of course, in the practical part they are charged with making recipes using these Mediterranean products.
Teachers and those responsible for nutrition at participating schools and colleges will also have access to a series of training days about the importance of healthy living habits and a balanced diet in order to pass it on to their students.
Recipes and music
Another of the initiatives taking place within the programme relates to music, one of the subjects which most interests young people. The style chosen has been rap and it has been done through a recipe contest. That is to say, the students must record, in groups, a video with a rapped recipe, which contains ingredients from the Mediterranean Diet.
To further engage teenagers, all the videos will be published on the Ministry’s social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tuenti and Youtube. The winners will be able to meet Rush Smith, a current Youtube star. And the school which they attend will receive a cheque for €500 for educational activities.