The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Unicef are jointly launching a TV cooking show “Shorno Chef” for young aspiring chefs across Bangladesh.
The program, where young cooking enthusiasts will showcase their cooking skills, aims to inspire healthy eating habits in teenagers and their families, a press release said.
The “Shorno Chef” program features teenage chefs aged 12-17 who compete each week in a different cooking challenge.
At the end of each episode, their dishes are evaluated for both their nutritional value and their taste by a jury composed of a professional chef and a nutritionist.
Dr. SM Mustafizur Rahman, Director of National Nutrition Services, said raising the level of nutrition in Bangladesh is enshrined in our country’s first constitution. Since then, the government has been working towards this objective.
He said it was commendable that in addition to the government’s nutrition and development efforts, partners like Unicef are teaching adolescents about the importance of nutrition and teaching them from an early age to cook not only hearty meals, but also nutritious meals.
According to the statement, about 28% of children in Bangladesh suffer from chronic malnutrition and one in 10 children suffer from acute malnutrition.
Overweight and obesity are on the rise among children and adolescents. And 56% of teenage girls suffer from anemia.
However, these challenges can be overcome by equipping teens with the knowledge they need to make healthier food choices, the statement said.
UNICEF Bangladesh representative Sheldon Yett said “Shorno Chef” aims to help teenagers make healthy and nutritious food choices by imparting the fun of cooking and the joy of healthy eating.
He said many teenagers weren’t able to eat enough nutritious food, and others ate too much unhealthy food. It’s a balanced diet that teenagers also love to eat and that will help them develop to their full potential.
The cooking show, which is a partnership between Unicef Bangladesh, the Ministry of Health and the Clean Cooking Alliance, is expected to reach six million viewers.
The program also encourages healthier cooking fuels such as electricity or cooking gas instead of firewood.
In Bangladesh, exposure to cooking smoke at home is a health concern, especially for children and adolescents, the statement said.
“The Clean Cooking Alliance is pleased to partner with Unicef and the Government of Bangladesh to help young people learn about the benefits of clean cooking, which can improve the health of millions of young people around the world. “said Asna Towfiq, policy manager at the Clean Kitchen Alliance.
“Educating and empowering young people as changemakers and innovators is key to advancing access to clean cooking. We wish the show and the amazing participants every success on their journey,” said Asna.