Suva, Fiji, 27 September 2021 – Children across the Pacific region are leading the way as advocates for healthy eating with Pacific Kids Food Revolution now being rolled out in countries including Fiji, Palau, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.
Pacific Kids Food Revolution is a children’s cooking show, created by UNICEF and the Pacific Island Food Revolution, that uses the power of reality television to share the important message on healthy eating. It shows that healthy eating can be as simple as using fresh, nutritious and local indigenous food that can be grown in backyard gardens.
The show provides a platform for children to advocate on and support Pacific Island nations to overcome the triple burden of malnutrition facing the region, including stunting, micronutrient deficiencies and overweight or obesity.
“In many parts of the Pacific, stunting alone affects one in every three children and many children five years and older are also facing challenges with overweight or obesity. I am excited to see children, or our ‘food warriors,’ standing up for their rights to good health and nutrition,” said UNICEF Pacific Representative, Jonathan Veitch. “I would like to thank our partners, including regional governments, Pacific Island Food Revolution and Pacific broadcasters for their support in creating a platform for children to drive healthy change in their community.”
Pacific Kids Food Revolution aims to showcase that local food can be easy, convenient and exciting, while encouraging children to cook and eat healthy foods. At the same time, the healthy and nutritious food supports children to thrive at school while limiting the severity and frequency of illness.
“The children were excited to cook local healthy meals which is important. We were also encouraged that they were keen to share the recipes with their parents and friends. It was important for us to tailor the message in a way that it would be received well by children, and it’s been a success. They’re having fun in the kitchen and they’re learning to eat and live better,” said Robert Oliver, Founder and Executive Director of Pacific Island Food Revolution.
In addition to airing the episodes of the cooking show on television programmes, including children’s shows, the campaign is also widely promoting healthy eating across digital platforms as well as engaging more children to become ‘food warriors’.
“While on the show, I learnt how to include the three food groups into my daily meals, and how to make them using our local fruits and vegetables, which is so important for a growing child,” said Gabriel Kumar, 13, a ‘food warrior’ of the Pacific Kids Food Revolution. “My message to all other children is to always eat healthy food, exercise daily, and don’t be scared to try new things in life.”
These ‘food warriors’ will continue to engage other youth in the Pacific Islands to lead, advocate, engage and discuss how they can support to bring about change in health and nutrition habits of the Pacific.
The Pacific Kids Food Revolution show will air daily in Palau on OTV Channel 23 at 4p, 6p, 8p and 10p starting on October 1, 2021. Also on social media platforms Oceania Television Network YouTube channel and Oceania TV News Facebook page.