By Olaide Jejelola
Nestlé Nigeria in collaboration with the Association of Professional Chefs Nigeria yesterday enlightened school children from 10 schools in Ogun State on how healthy food works.
Speaking at the event to mark the 2019 International Chefs Day, Director, South West of Association of Professional Chefs Nigeria, Chef Nick Maaji, said that the Day celebrated every October 20 offers chefs from around the globe a unique opportunity to network, promote their profession to future chefs and most importantly, make a difference in their local communities through making healthy eating fun and exciting for kids and exposing them to the culinary profession.
The theme for 2019 is ‘How Healthy Food Works.’
“We are delighted to be here today to engage the children on how to prepare healthy food because we know that the more children are involved in the choice and preparation of food, the more likely they will choose healthy food options.
We are also very happy to have an opportunity to collaborate with Nestlé, especially the Nestlé Professional team who has made this event possible,” Chef Nick added.
The practical sessions offered the children an opportunity to make the decisions on the ingredients they needed to purchase for the meals assigned to their specific groups. Together with the chefs, the children created recipes out of fresh food items including vegetables, fruits, grains and proteins readily available in their immediate environment. The excitement of the children was palpable as they experienced food from ingredients to recipes, from preparation to the table.
Speaking on his experience, a pupil of St Paul’s School 1, Makun, Sagamu, Mark Areghan said, “Today has been an exciting day for me. I have learned how to make pasta in different healthy ways. I will teach my friends and try out the dishes again at home with my Mum.”
In her remarks at the event, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager for Nestlé Nigeria, Victoria Uwadoka said, “This event is one of the ways we contribute towards our goals of helping children live healthier lives through our global flagship program, ‘Nestlé for Healthier Kids (N4HK).’ The children we have hosted today are from N4HK participating schools in Ogun State. We hope the children will not only practice all they have learned today but will also share the knowledge they have received on How Healthy Food works with their friends and parents.”
Speaking at the event, Mrs. Motunrayo Egunjobi, Director, Social Mobilization, Ogun State Universal Basic Education Board said, “I appreciate the excellent work Nestlé is doing for kids. This has been a great learning experience not only for the kids but for all of us present. I know the kids will go back and practice what they have learned today”.
Nestlé and the Association of Chefs Nigeria organise this event annually to raise awareness of adequate diets and active lifestyles to equip children to form healthier nutrition habits earlier to promote a healthier future.