Healthy eating, sports and physical activity

Birthday cake with sugar is the only option for healthy birthdays (Alberto Raggio/GCBA Press)

Families in the city can celebrate the birthday of the youngest with a different proposal: healthy food and in the different squares of the neighborhood of Buenos Aires. For now they can only do this in Parque Centenario, but gradually they will add new green and outdoor spaces where the healthy stations are already operating.

The idea is to celebrate with educational games for two hours and, at the same time, help families to deepen their knowledge of healthy eating and reverse the consumption of products that particularly affect the health of the youngest.

According to the Buenos Aires Ministry of Health, 43.7% of boys and girls between 2 and 14 years old are overweight, For this reason, soft drinks, alcoholic drinks and ultra-processed foods are left on the table for these birthdays.

to offer

Paula Vignolo She is a nutritionist and coordinator of the Parque Centenario health station, which is one of the ten distributed in the city, in addition to the routes that cross different points of Buenos Aires. Those who want to be supported by nurses who monitor their pressure, height and weight, and who also receive free nutritional advice every day, go for it. On weekends, they include physical activity programs and cognitive workshops at some stations.

Two months ago, they added a different offering between inflatables, basketball hoops, and a dessert table that usually contains cupcakes, cookies, truffles, pudding, cereal, and fruit. And a cake is waiting in the fridge.

It’s a healthy birthday, a free city initiative that started in 2019 but was put on hold by the pandemic. “We conducted pilot tests in July to refine the proposal,” he says. araceli kabalottiA kindergarten teacher leading the celebration at Parque Centenario with Jarno Storino, a student from the Faculty of Physical Education.

These celebrations take place from Monday to Saturday and there was a lot of demand before the confinement. “We all had busy weekend schedules,” says Vignolo, emphasizing, “The goal is to eat mindfully, encourage proper hydration and body movement.”

One of the games proposes to assemble a salad with different ingredients (Alberto Raggio / GCBA Press)

What does a healthy birthday look like?

There are inflatables to play with. In one, there’s a challenge to drop balls into a bag and the first team to pocket eight, the recommended number of glasses of water per day, wins. Other inflatables have rings with which you must collect salads, fruits or vegetables according to the slogan.

such activities Birthdays vary according to the age of the boy (There are three age groups: 2 to 5 years old, 6 to 8 years old and 9 to 12 years old). The proposals, according to the organizers, are based on sensory, fine and gross motor skills, body expression, theatricality and cognitive skills and competitive sports, according to the group.

,2 to 5 yearsActivities: sensory activities, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, body expression, dramatization and the materials used are: soft play area, kitchenette, inflatables, balls, Emboc games, fabric, music.

,6 to 8 years oldThe activities based on body expression, gross motor skills, games of skill, games of cognitive skills and the materials used are: Kitchen, Inflatable, Ring, Ball, Image, Memo Test, Music.

,9 to 12 years oldActivities based on cognitive abilities, motor skills, body expression and the materials used are: cooking, inflatable structures, rings, balls, pictures, memorization tests, puzzles, kitchen utensils, the music.

The duration is two hours and is distributed as follows: thirty minutes for the reception of the guests and for the games in the park; Another half hour for lunch and the same time for activities with the Estaciones Saludables workshop leaders. Fifteen minutes for the cake moment and the song “Happy Birthday” and fifteen minutes for the final game and the event finale.

Paula Vignolo is a nutritionist and coordinator of the Parque Centenario health resort (Alberto Raggio/Gcba Press).
Paula Vignolo is a nutritionist and health station coordinator at Parque Centenario (Alberto Raggio/GCBA Press).

“We ask that at least One responsible adult for every 10 children», explains Vignolo and specifies that there cannot be more than 30 children per celebration.

To celebrate a birthday in this way, you must register via a form and on the social network @BABienestar. They can be observed during breakfast for 10 to 12 hours; During lunch, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. or during breakfast, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

“We are also interested in promoting the celebration in a public space and outdoors,” explains the nutritionist, noting that if it rains that day, she will be rescheduled.

The purpose of this proposal is to make families aware of the problem of overweight and obesity in children. This is why the families are in charge of bringing the food which will have to be adapted to the list of healthy dishes provided by the station if a date and time of celebration are agreed. “It’s not about taking health to extremes, it’s about avoiding ultra-processed foods and knowing what you’re eating”Vignolo precise.

This is, There are no hot dogs or burgers, no soft drinks or fried foods, No more than alcoholic beverages, industrial juices, snacks or ultra-processed foods. “Nothing that contains added simple sugars, sodium or saturated fats,” he explains. Cake is the only free thing on the menu.

From what he has seen so far, “the experience with the boys is good because they try to be surprised by the table, which is different from what they are used to.”

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