Accra- To promote healthy eating habits and lifestyles among children, Nestle Ghana, Chiefs Association of Ghana, and Ghana Education Service (GES) has organised a day’s cooking demonstration to mark the International Chefs Day (ICD).
The ICD is a day set aside to celebrate Chiefs, use the opportunity to make a positive change in their local communities and to make a difference in a young person’s life.
As part of the day’s celebration, the children at the Asafo Agona East District Assembly Basic School in the Central Region were grouped based on their career aspirations and were guided by Chefs to prepare recipes with local, familiar and healthy foods.
They were also taught basic healthy eating habits to guarantee them to reach their dreams, which includes, Doctors, Journalist, Teachers, Farmers, Athletes, and Artistes.
Under the theme, Healthy Foods for Growing Up, the children were given different recipes to cook for their parents at home.
In a speech delivered on her behalf, Mrs Philomena Tan, Managing Director of Nestle Ghana explained that nutrition was key to securing a better future for our children
We can only build a better future for our children today if we take their nutrition and wellbeing seriously. A healthy child today is an asset to society. Through the Nestle for Healthier Kids Program and our fortification agenda, we are contributing to fulfilling our 2030 global ambition to help 50 million children lead healthier lives, she added.
This is one way we bring to life our purpose of enhancing the quality of life and contributing to a healthier future.
Mrs Tan said the 2017 Ghana Micronutrient Survey indicated that 35 per cent of children in Ghana were anaemic with concurrent iron deficiency, while vitamin A deficiency affects about 25 per cent of pre-school children.
Touching on the initiative to complement government efforts to address the situation, she said the company through Nestle for Healthier Kids (N4HK), a non-branded program under Nestle’s Creating Shared Value Concept was empowering parents, caregivers and educators to foster healthier eating, drinking and lifestyle habits among children 3-12 years of age.
In Ghana, Mrs Tan stated that N4HK over 25,000 children have been reached with models such as Healthy Hydration, Nutrition Quiz, Vegetable Gardening, and Physical Activity since its inception in 2011.
The Managing Director said the N4HK contribution to good health and well-being of children were fundamental goals for parents and caregivers as well as an indicator the Sustainable Development Goal.
Madam Felicia Akyempon, School Health Education Coordinator at the Agona East District of the GES said the N4HK initiative being run at five schools in the district had helped increase enrolment in the various schools.
Comparing the enrolment figures before and after she said the some of the classes at the Asafo Agona East District Assembly Basic School had only five pupils but it had now increased to more than 20.
Madam Akyempon noted that regular absenteeism of student as a result of ill health in the school had ceased adding that the program had made pupils active in physical education activities.
Mr Elijah Addo, a member of Chiefs Association of Ghana, noted that healthy dietary and lifestyle patterns from an early age could positively impact on people’s nutrition and health throughout their adult lives, and enhance the increase in productivity of individuals.
Each year, he said, the Association developed recipes with locally sourced food crops to educate children to eat right.
Our focus is to use local materials to cook. It is our conviction that we have a crucial role to play in helping and accelerate the effort of the country and the world as a whole to ensure healthy kids, fighting poverty and hunger by 2030, he added.
Source: Ghana News Agency