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Video Game Teaches Healthy Eating

Registered Dietitians with the British Columbia Dairy Foundation (BCDF) have announced the new video game Titanium Chef is ready to play. Titanium Chef is an interactive, web-based role-playing game designed to teach students in Grades 6 to 8 about Canada’s Food Guide and how to make healthy meal choices. It is available free of charge at www.titaniumchef.ca.

“The idea for Titanium Chef came from research and our own observations that show students today respond positively to interactive learning,” said Kenton Delisle, a lead nutrition educator with BCDF. “We tried to create something that will appeal from both an educational and entertainment perspective and will complement more traditional methods of nutrition education.”

Recent research has shown that more than 60 per cent of British Columbia students are not getting their daily recommended servings of vegetables and fruit or milk and alternatives. Studies also show that more than half are not eating breakfast on a regular basis. Titanium Chef’s multi-purpose design is to teach students healthy eating habits by encouraging them to plan meals that meet Canada’s Food Guide recommendations. It teaches students how to classify foods into the four food groups, determine appropriate serving sizes, and assess their own intake to identify areas for improvement.

While its outcomes are similar to previous education games, it is its execution that separates Titanium Chef from its predecessors. Set in the year 3015 on many different planets, the player becomes a “ChefBot” and sets out on a journey to become the galaxy’s greatest chef, the “Titanium Chef.” Providing nearly 10 hours of unique story, the game creates an immersive, non-linear, 3-D experience comparable to industry-leading role-playing games (RPGs).

With over 60 per cent of adolescents playing some form of video game on any given day, the choice to make video games a source of learning was obvious.

“Teachers will find it easier to teach nutrition education to students through a medium they already enjoy,” said Delisle.

“Titanium Chef is available outside of the classroom as well to encourage students to continue their learning from home.”

Developed in collaboration with Vancouver-based interactive design studio mod7, Titanium Chef is a continuation of BCDF’s commitment to innovation in the field of nutrition education. All of the foundation’s programs place emphasis on skill building and problem solving over basic fact retention. The new web-based game reinforces this emphasis, and provides the student with an enjoyable learning experience.

Additional resources will be available for teachers using the game in their classrooms at www.titaniumchef.ca.

B. C. Dairy Foundation is a not-for-profit organization funded by the dairy producers of British Columbia.

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