By Oghenefego Obaebor
The future of every nation lies with her children, and no nation can achieve greatness, either economically or politically, without the children. Hence the need to ensure that children, especially at their early stage in life, are well nourished, healthy and educated,” stated Dr. Oluranti Adebule, Deputy Governor, Lagos State.
Adebule, who lauded FrieslandCampina WAMCO for Peak 456 healthy eating and lifestyle initiative, said it would have a far-reaching effect on both the physical and mental development of Nigerian children.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mrs. Adebunmi Adekanye at the media launch in Lagos, Adebule posited that children should be well nourished.
FrieslandCampina WAMCO launched the Peak 456 initiative in partnership with the Nutrition Society of Nigeria, NSN, to promote healthy eating and exercise among children aged four to six years.
The partnership is in line with the FrieslandCampina WAMCO global project tagged Drink, Move and Be Strong pre-school programme that will engage and educate school children on healthy eating and active living.
Speaking during a media briefing on the project, the Corporate Affairs Director, FrieslandCampina WAMCO, Ore Famurewa, disclosed the Nigerian version of the programme is themed Eating Healthy and Staying Active.
She noted that eating and lifestyle habits are formed during childhood and do last a lifetime, hence, the need to educate and support children right from their formative years in order to inculcate in them, healthy lifestyle and behaviour.
“Our goal is to drive healthy eating and active lifestyle habits by educating children from young age because it is important for children to learn the benefits of good nutrition and to develop healthy eating habits.
“Schools are ideal for bringing nutrition education to children at an early age through qualified staff. It is key to note that the sooner children start making healthy choices, the easier it becomes to keep up good eating habits later in life,” Famurewa said.
In recognition of the roles teachers play in the development of children, the Marketing Manager, IFT, Zatur Hassim, said: “Teachers need to be empowered with knowledge and tools to pass on good healthy eating and active lifestyle habits to their pupils. FrieslandCampina WAMCO implemented a teachers’ workshop to equip pre-school and nursery teachers with the right knowledge on child nutrition.”
In line with this, the company gave out Peak 456 toolkits to aid teachers in their classrooms. Teachers were taught the Peak 456 Exercise Moves – a simple exercise routine to the Peak 456 song.
Also, the President, NSN, Dr. Bartholomew Brai, stated that nutrition especially in young children, must be taken as a very key component of their overall development, adding that parents should ensure children ingest all the five basic food groups.
“We must ensure our children have an adequate diet by including all the five food groups in their diet everyday.”
Dairy is a commonly overlooked food group, yet, dairy contains essential nutrients that support your child’s mental and physical development,” Brai said.
He urged government at all levels to prioritize nutrition by promoting a healthy eating culture among children while also commending FrieslandCampina WAMCO for the laudable Peak 456 programme.
FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria PLC recommends children between the ages four to six years drink at least a glass of Peak 456 a day to support their physical and mental development.