Belize City, 4 November 2011 - The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization in Belize congratulates Ms. Robyn Daly as the third place winner of the 2011 Caribbean Nutrition Promotion Competition and Ms. Melissa Belizaire for the for the Best Organizer of the National Food and Nutrition Quiz Competition. The Caribbean Nutrition Promotion Competition is being organized by the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI), a specialized center of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
Ms. Daly is the Nutritionist at the Ministry of Health, Belize, who submitted her entry titled Caribbean Nutrition Day Seminar. This Seminar was geared around positively impacting the food service providers in Belmopan City. The Market Area in Belmopan is surrounded with many food service providers. They provide meals every day for the residents of Belmopan and for persons working in the vicinity of the Market Area. Because common food practices such as heavy use of salt, frying foods in lard and shortening, serving large portions of foods and not using vegetables in meals, there is a need to continuously reinforce healthy nutrition habits.
Due to the high incidence of chronic diseases in the country of Belize, and upon careful observation of how food was prepared and served around market area, there was a great need for educating the producers of these foods so that the quality of food can be improved and they can be educated on the importance of nutrition. The results of the seminar revealed that more vendors started using vegetables in their meals, serving sizes improved, more herbal seasoning used in meals instead of just salt, and producers are now using more vegetable oils instead of the shortening or lard which was used before.
Meanwhile, Ms. Belizaire, School Health and Nutrition Coordinator, Ministry of Education, Belize, submitted an entry describing how the National Food and Nutrition Quiz Competition in Belize were organized, which really impressed the judges. The information submitted described the percentage of schools that took part, collaborations with other ministries and organizations, sponsorship obtained, prizes given and promotional materials used. The judges expressed that they were quite impressed by a music video that had been developed that featured teens aimed at promoting healthy eating habits.
For the first time this year, CFNI decided to present an award for the Best Organizer of a National Competition. The competition was open to all countries that had held a National Competition that aimed to prepare students for entry to the CFNI Regional Schools’ Food and Nutrition Quiz Competition. While Belize is not among the finalist teams this year, they have always been a team to contend with. In 2008 they emerged as winners of the competition and in 2009 a student from Belize won the Individual Champion of the Preliminary Round Trophy and gift prizes.
Both winners have prizes that include a trip to Guyana to attend the Awards Dinner, trophy, country tour and cash award.
The Pan American Health Organization, which is the Regional Office in the Americas of the World Health Organization, was founded in 1902, and works with all countries of the Americas to improve the health and quality of life of their peoples. CFNI was established in 1967 to forge a regional approach to solving the nutrition problems of the Caribbean. The PAHO/WHO Country Office in Belize was established in the 1950s.