15 and 16 May 2019 – 70 International Medical University‘s Nutrition (NT 117) and Dietetics with Nutrition (DN 117) students together with 6 lecturers were involved in a healthy lunchbox project. The main aim of the project was to promote healthy eating among the IMU community while incorporating the experiential learning on the principles of food service operation and management for a Semester 4 module, Food Service Management I. This year, a variety of Malaysian cuisine was being served in tandem with the theme, “The Melting Pot of Malaysian Delicacies”.
|The lunchboxes offered by the cohort include:|
|The Seven Wonder Colour Rice and Ayam Percik Wrap representing Malay cuisine|
|Zha Jiang Mian and Chinese Burger representing Chinese cuisine|
|Chicken Tikka Masala and Indian Fusion Poke Bowl representing Indian cuisine|
The meticulous preparation and planning for this healthy lunchbox project started since the early weeks of Semester 4, including the test-run session with an invited chef. All menus were carefully designed and modified by the students with their respective lecturers’ guidance in order to incorporate the nutritional and food culture aspects into the lunchbox. Moreover, each group were required to serve food for 50 people. Therefore, promotional items like posters, Facebook page, vouchers and pre-order link were widely circulated to the IMU community. The students were proud to discover that their customers were from various backgrounds, programmes of study and ethnicities. Such phenomenon portrayed the success of the healthy lunchbox project, which was to disseminate the idea of healthy eating to IMU community. On the day of production and sale, the students started their preparation and cooking in the Nutrition and Dietetics Laboratory at the IMU Bukit Jalil campus from 8:00am. They worked systematically according to their allocated responsibilities and time to ensure safe and good food quality besides adhering to service time for the collection of lunchboxes at 11:00am. After tasting the healthy food, the customers were then required to fill up the feedback form for the students’ further improvement. When the time approached 12:00p.m, while almost all the lunchboxes were collected, the students cleaned up the lab to upkeep the lab’s cleanliness. Overall, despite some inevitable shortcomings, the event culminated in great success as the aim of the project matched with the actual execution. The success could be considered as multidimensional, as it not only promoted healthy eating among IMU community, but also a valuable opportunity for the NDT117 students to be exposed to the real practice of food service operation and management. Written by Chong Jackie and Chong Koy Seong Related article: “Exp-10-re a Better Lifestyle” with a Healthy Lunchbox