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
Pages: 1703-1710
ISBN: 978-84-606-8243-1
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain
In Europe most risks of premature death are related with unhealthy feeding habits and obesity. Specifically in Spain, the 30% of the children between 6 and 13 years old are overweight. The NE (Nutrition Education) has shown to be a key factor for the prevention of obesity. Although the NE is present in the school curriculum for children in Europe, it has been identified that is in very low levels and needs to be reinforced. To support teachers and nutritionists in the task of providing NE to children between 9 and 12 years old, the MEAL (Modifying Eating Attitudes and Actions through Learning) platform has been developed. This tool includes several specific NE modules adapted for the nutritionists and teachers to transfer this knowledge to the children. Also this platform includes a module addressed only to professionals containing the main pedagogical characteristics that should be taken in consideration at the moment of teaching NE to children. This platform contains two SG´s (Serious Games) for children to train and implement the competencies and principles learned during the lessons of the MEAL contents.

The contents of the MEAL platform were obtained from an extensive literature review to identify three main sources:
(1) Characteristics of several NE programs supported by ICT´s (Information and Communication Technologies),
(2) theoretical models mostly used in interventions with children, and
(3) main characteristics of the SG´s, and examples of this tools used in children population to teach NE.

Also 6 focus groups were performed in Spain and Norway to obtain information directly from the target populations that is directed this platform (teachers and nutritionists). The most relevant information was included in the MEAL platform which has 4 modules:
(1) Nutritional education: basic elements,
(2) Food preparation and basic principles of food hygiene and manipulation,
(3) Eating habits and healthy behavior
(4) Nutrition and children: Characteristics of the development of children from 9 to 12 years old and recommendations for educators.

Contents were based on the Contento´s model that is focused on changes of habits and specific actions, and not only in nutritional information. Also, due to this friendly user system, educators will be able to easily manage the contents and add any. Also they will have the option of providing access to the children to the SG´s so they could play it at home once finished teaching the contents of the platform.

The system will be implemented in schools, and the educators will be trained in the usage of the system. Professionals will be provided with an individual access to them, so they can select which module to teach to each group.

Discussion and Conclusions:
The MEAL platform can be a useful tool to help nutritionists and educators to teach NE to children between 9 and 12 years old. In addition, as it is supported by ICT´s, the contents could be updated at any time and provide control to the teachers in order to teach NE at the necessary rhythm to the children. It is expected high rates of acceptability and usability by the educators to the MEAL platform.

CIBER Obn Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición.
Nutrition Education, ICT Platform, Teachers and nutritionist, Children.