The Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences (FNHS) at Notre Dame University-Louaize North Lebanon campus (NDU-NLC) organized on March 2, 2018, a series of capacity building workshops under the title, “Food, Nutrition, and Health,” which targeted high school students from different schools in North Lebanon. A total of 161 students from seven major schools in the north attended.
This series of training focusing on food, nutrition, and health equipped students (Grades 11 and 12) with the essentials of managing their own health at different levels.
Assistant Professor at the FNHS Dr. Layal Karam conducted the first workshop on “How to Create a New Food Product.” She said, “Product development is the oxygen that keeps products and companies alive.” In order to be profitable and to survive, food companies seek new products and innovation given that "food is inseparable from the imagination."
This workshop focused on:
- What is a new food product?
- What are the different types of new product?
- Why do companies need to develop new food products?
- How does a successful new product get created?
- Case Study: Invited speaker from bites of delight, the gluten-free factory.
NDU-FNHS alumna and Bites of Delight Co-founder Melissa Abs shared her experience on how to she helped create the company, how helped develop the products, how she helped face the challenges, and how she helped the company succeed. She also discussed the company’s plans for the future.
In 2006, almost 105,000 new food and drink products were launched globally (Rowan 2007), or about 300 new products for every day of the year! It is estimated, however, that only 5 percent, or about 5,250, will succeed. It takes a product development team and several key steps to create a successful new product.
During the second workshop, part-time faculty member at NDU Dr. Khalil Badaoui described “The Essentials of Sports Nutrition.” According to him, sports nutrition is the application of nutrition knowledge to a practical daily eating plan, focusing on:
- Providing the fuel for physical activity;
- Facilitating the repair, rebuilding, and adaptation process following hard physical work;
- Optimizing athletic performance in competitive events;
- Promoting overall health and wellness; and
- Designing practical dietary strategies to achieve these goals.
Achieving peak performance requires that athletes understand and implement the fundamental principles of sports nutrition and exercise science for a particular sport. Athletes should consume high-carbohydrate snacks, low in fat and protein, 30-60 minutes before practice and every 60 minutes for high endurance competition. They have also to drink 1-2 glasses of water every 15 minutes.
Dr. Badaoui said, “Athletes should not use any nutritional supplement without medical and nutritional supervision.”
The third workshop titled, “Essentials of Adolescent Blood Donation in collaboration with Donner Sang Compter (DSC),” was intended to provide high school students with an introduction and awareness to the blood donation process. For her part, lecturer at NDU Najwa el-Gerges gave an overview of blood formation, components, blood cells functions, blood types, and life cycle in general; focus was on blood donation, eligibility criteria for donation, and population at risk who needs blood and how to recruit it.
The following topics were discussed:
- “Essentials of Adolescent Blood Donation,” presented by El-Gerges; and
- “Donner Sang Compter,” presented by Abdo Saad.
El-Gerges concluded the workshops by saying, “A blood donation costs nothing but it saves a life!” She added that the benefits for blood donors are extended to social and community service and also protect the donor from many health risks.
Students all received a “Certificate of Attendance.”