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Healthy choices

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, April 28, 2010

BAKER LAKE - A group of students at Jonah Amitnaaq Secondary School in Baker Lake were treated to some new culinary twists on some old dietary staples earlier this month.

NNSL photo/graphic

Jonah Amitnaaq Secondary School Grade 7 students Alethia Noah, Amber Nukik and Judy Mannik, from left, of Baker Lake enjoy a healthy meal during a special Nutrition Month event at their school earlier this month. - photo courtesy of Craig Vincent

The school teamed up with the local health centre to hold a special day of food and activities celebrating Nutrition Month for students in Grade 6 to Grade 8.

The event was organized by community health rep Joan Killulark and public health nurse Carrisa McEachern.

Killulark said she and McEachern received a bit of funding from the Department of Health, and decided to do something with the kids to encourage them to eat more traditional foods.

She said one thing they wanted to show the kids is that traditional foods can be prepared in a number of different ways in their daily lives.

"The kids really seemed to enjoy the meals we prepared," said Killulark.

"We also had the recipes for the meals we served and many of the kids asked for them.

"We got copies of the recipes from prenatal nutrition and, also, some from old Department of Education publications from years and years ago."

While the kids enjoyed both selections of sweet-and-sour caribou and caribou chili, the runaway winner, in terms of taste popularity, was the sweet-and-sour recipe.

The students received juice and an apple with their meals, and also took part in games and activities with a nutritional theme.

Killulark said the teachers also got to sample the two meals.

She said a total of eight different classes took part in the event.

"People here are still more dependent on traditional food than store-bought food because it's cheaper, convenient and better for you.

"They still go on the radio and ask for caribou meat or fish, so it's still very popular.

"But, with younger folks, you do what you can to educate them and just hope they choose traditional food over fast food.

"That's why it's important to show them different ways of preparing country food, so they can have a variety of choice in taste."

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