MAGGI and the Nestlé Wellness Campus, in partnership with the Department of Education, successfully concluded the first Sarap Sustansya Virtual Inter-School Cooking Competition among public high schools in the National Capital Region (NCR). The teacher-parent-student trio from Manuel Luis Quezon High School – Schools Division of Manila, emerged as the champion team, inspiring other Filipino youth to put importance on preparing and eating delicious, healthy yet affordable meals with their family.
The Sarap Sustansya Virtual Inter-School Cooking Competition aims to promote a balanced diet among public school students while instilling appreciation for cooking as an essential life skill. This project was made possible by MAGGI, the trusted ally of Filipino homecooks, and Nestlé Wellness Campus, the flagship health and wellness education program of Nestlé Philippines.
As part of the competition, participating public school students from Grades 7-12, along with their parent and coach-teacher, took inspiration from the MAGGI Sarap Sustansya Kusinaskwela videos on YouTube, where they learned about meal planning, “palengke” tips and shorter cooking time. They also featured the Go, Grow, Glow food groups following the Pinggang Pinoy recommendations of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) in their entries.
First place winner Juliana Publico teamed up with her teacher and mom to prepare a complete menu comprised of chicken embutido, siomai gulay with homemade siomai wrapper and veggie rice. With Coach-Teacher Merben Barredo’s guidance, they also turned the leftover dough into a noodle soup, and made juice out of the veggie peels to avoid food waste. “We did not only see a change in the students’ appreciation for healthy ingredients, but we also saw a shift in parents’ attitudes. From finding ways to disguise vegetables, they now want to ‘normalize’ vegetables by bringing out their flavor and goodness,” Barredo said.
Rosalyn Simba, Business Executive Officer – Food and Dairy Culinary Business Unit at Nestlé Philippines, reiterated MAGGI’s commitment to educate homecooks that meals can be tasty, nutritious and affordable all at the same time through this joint advocacy. “We were overwhelmed by the response and creativity of the public high schools that joined the Sarap Sustansya Virtual Cooking Competition. Not only did they create yummy dishes, but they also showed how households can come up with amazing meals every day even with a limited budget and with minimal food waste.”
Dr. James Roldan, TLE Regional Supervisor of the Department of Education-NCR lauded the Sarap Sustansya Inter-School Cooking Competition for serving as an informative educational and entertaining virtual cooking and nutritional program. “We saw true collaboration between the parents, teachers and students to develop creative meals that made use of fresh and nutritious ingredients. I believe it will be beneficial to the students to have this activity again next year, hopefully with a nationwide scope.”
Teacher Alisa Mae Uy, representing the first-runner up Zhereen Lim of Malabon National High School – Schools Division of Malabon, said the real prize of the contest is the bond between student and parent, and the new-found skills in preparing healthy dishes for the family. “The student now has a greater appreciation for her role as a homecook, and has the confidence to help her mom prepare the family’s meals,” Uy said.
Teacher Fria Canlas, coach of second-runner up Carmela Limos of Pasay City West High School – Schools Division of Pasay, believes that they key takeaway were the learnings from watching all 16 modules of MAGGI Sarap Sustansya Kusinaskwela on YouTube. “From understanding the Pinggang Pinoy model, to budgeting, to marketing and all the way to food preparation and cooking, the modules really helped us teachers in making nutrition easier to understand,” said Canlas.
Manuel Luis Quezon High School received two sets of kitchen package comprised of two (2) sets electric stove, one (1) gas range and a heavy-duty blender. All regional winners received vegetable garden kits (kangkong, okra, tomato) to help them start their schools’ Sarap Sustansya Garden.