Thai paediatrician worries about Grade 5 textbook encouraging bad eating habits
A Thai paediatrician worries that a Grade 5 textbook is encouraging bad eating habits.
A recent controversy has sparked public debate involving a Thai language textbook for Grade 5 students discussing simplistic and potentially unhealthy meal suggestions, and a paediatrician has expressed deep concern over the limited worldview and nutritional value presented.
The textbook contains content depicting a character enjoying a meal consisting of half a boiled egg mixed with fish sauce, or plain rice mixed with stir-fried morning glory as an adequate and satisfying meal. This character’s happiness in having a simple, contented life has led society to question the nutritional needs of children, as well as whether the text is promoting an overly romanticised outlook on life.
Dr. Jiraruj Chomchai, a paediatric respiratory specialist, took to Facebook to share his thoughts on this troubling scenario, stating…
“Can children really live on half a boiled egg + rice mixed with fish sauce? The crucial aspect of children’s nutrition isn’t just about ‘energy’ or ‘being full’; what’s essential is ‘protein.’ This plays a crucial role in the development of the brain, muscles, and enzymes in various bodily systems.”
Dr. Jiraruj goes on to highlight the importance of essential vitamins and minerals that children should not be deprived of. He emphasises that proper nutrition is not only about satiating hunger or pleasing one’s taste buds, but that it should also contribute to the child’s growth, cognitive development, and immune system.
He further remarks, “If the vision is merely to make children ‘happy’ or ‘satisfied’ without considering the necessary nutrients essential for their well-being, then this is a deeply concerning matter for the future of our nation. This regressive approach to education, dictated by some groups still lagging behind, is detrimental to our society.”
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