COOKIT! A SERIOUS GAME TO TEACH HEALTHY DECISIONS TO CHILDREN TO PREPARE MEALS
1 University of Valencia and CIBER Obn (SPAIN)
2 FVA di Louis Ferrini and C. (ITALY)
3 everis (SPAIN)
4 BEST Institut für berufsbezogene Weiterbildung und Personaltraining GmbH (AUSTRIA)
5 Rogaland School and Business Development Foundation (NORWAY)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN15 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The easy access to non nutritious snacks, limited time for lunch period, and weight concerns emerge as significant reasons for students to not eat nutritious meals in school. The lack of NE (Nutritional Education) in children population reinforces and maintains this problematic. NE interventions are effective to prevent unhealthy diet habits, but they are often boring for children. In order to solve this problem, SG´s (Serious Games) can be a promising tool. The SG´s are digital games that are designed for educational, persuasive or health purposes. To provide support to teach NE to 9-12 years old children, the SG Cookit! has been developed. It is aimed to teach children about the percentages of energy/calories, healthy and unhealthy levels for different ingredients and foods that are usually found in any home. Cookit! is a component of the MEAL platform which is aimed to help teachers and nutritionists to teach NE to children between 9 and 12 years old.
Cookit! tries to train the competencies and principles and contents learned during the lessons with the MEAL system.
The SG has 3 levels:
(1) Prepare a breakfast,
(2) prepare a lunch, and
(3) prepare a dinner. In the game the player has a whole range of aliments; from healthy ones, as could be fresh fruit, or vegetables, to unhealthy aliments as could be chocolate cake or fried fries, and the player is requested to select from all these aliments, which ones he considers that consolidates a healthy meal.
Regarding the Gamification and SG´s principles, the children is rewarded at the end of the game with a classification that contains a unique image for each one (5 in total: Healthy, Almost healthy, Low on food consumption, High on food consumption, and Very high on food consumption), and a message regarding the aliments selected. Also the player obtains a final score regarding the decisions made and this is saved in his/her personal record with his/her name and also will be shown in a public score board so they can compare with the records of other children. This will add characteristics such as competence, sociability and raises the probability that the player play more that once to increase their score.
The children will be able to play Cookit! in two contexts:
(1) In the school, during the hours assigned to NE learning,
(2) at any time at home, since they will have a unique access in the game.
After receiving the contents of the MEAL project in the school, the children will be requested to play at least once the SG. Also Cookit! will be available for the children to play as many times that they want.
Discussion and Conclusions:
With Cookit! the children will be aware of how healthy or unhealthy is the food that they usually eat. Aside the taste of the aliments, the player will know the percentages of calories that could have certain harmful foods as could be the bacon, and how healthy could be a salad. It is expected that the children will report high levels of acceptance, usage and playability of the game Cookit! And also that they will increase their nutritional knowledge.
Acknowledgement: CIBER Obn Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición.
Keywords: Nutritional Education, Serious Game, ICT Platform, Children.