KORONADAL CITY. The month-long nutrition celebration was capped by a cooking contest and a Zumba exercise, which were participated in by government employees, and organized by the National Nutrition Council XII and the City of Koronadal.

This year’s theme “Timbang Iwasto sa Tamang Pagkain at Ehersiyo” has posed a great challenge for everyone as evidenced by the increasing number of overweight and obese children and adults.

Among the strategies considered to respond to this challenge is the preparation of a healthy meal and carrying out of healthy activities such as Zumba.

The cooking contest has two categories, namely: Category A to be participated in by representatives of participating RLAs, and Category B to be participated in by the 27 Barangay Captains of the City of Koronadal.

For Category A, the Department of Agriculture (DA) XII recipe Veggie con Shell con Mushshrimps captured the delicate taste of the board of judges and bested the “Dinengdeng with Philhealth twist” which placed second, followed by DSWD XII recipe “Crunchy Vegetable with Seafoods” and DBM XII’s “Steamed Lapu-Lapu in Oyster Sauce”.

For Category B, the Barangay Captains in the City of Koronadal showcased their cooking skills with chicken as main ingredient combined with indigenous vegetables.

The participating government employees also demonstrated their dancing skills with endurance as they do Zumba exercises.

Koronadal City Mayor Peter B. Miguel and First Lady Consuelo Miguel graced the culmination program.

Mayor Miguel reminded the viewers in his message to drink milk everyday especially the children and young adults as it will become the calcium foundation as they grow old.

He further addressed the smokers and drinkers: “quit smoking and regulate your alcoholic drink and carbohydrate intake if you still want to pursue your dream and live longer.”

“Everyone must observe good hygiene especially washing of hands and drink plenty of water to avoid poisoning and other illnesses,” he added.

The good mayor also encouraged mothers to breastfeed their babies up to six months and prepare nutritious foods for the family.

Finally as a response to this year’s theme, he encouraged everyone to “develop the habit of preparing and eating right nutritious foods and to use iodized salt.”

The activity also included an oath-taking ceremony for the Nutrition in Development Organization of Social Educators in SOCCSKSARGEN (Nutri-DOSE), which was administered by Dr. Francisco Mateo of the Department of Health XII.

The Nutri-DOSE is composed of radio anchors and print journalist in the region and was tasked to promote and advocate good nutrition through the preparation of a healthy meal and to regularly exercise. (Gwyneth Grace B. Collado and Leilani P. del Pilar/NEDA XII)