By Luminous Jannamike
Worried by worsening nutrition indices among children in Abuja, Nestlé Professionals has partnered the Federal Capital Territory Universal Basic Education Board to train 30 school pupils on healthy feeding practices.
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The training, organised as part of activities to mark the 2019 World Chefs Day, aimed at strengthening the understanding of children on basic tips and tricks for preparing healthy and wholesome meals from young age.
Speaking at the cooking workshop in Abaji Area Council, the Category Manager, Nestlé professionals, Mrs. Amaka Nwokorie, said: “What better way to start teaching about healthier eating than with the kids who are the leaders of tomorrow.
“Today, we are talking about vegetables, fruits, rice, noodles, and pasta, which has become a very important part of our diet. Obesity and underfeeding are the main problems of the world today.
“We are hoping they will go back to their schools and homes and become champions in the healthier feeding effort of Nestlé.
“We are working with ten schools that FCT SUBEB is in charge of. In each of the schools, the population is around 600 to 1,000 pupils. So we train a small portion and that awareness continues till everyone is conscious”.
On his part, the Deputy Director in FCT SUBEB, Alh. Baba Aboki, said besides the training involving 10 schools selected from Abuja for the pilot edition of the culinary workshop, the nutrition company is also collaborating with the FCTA on a national cooking contest for children selected from various schools across Nigeria.
Speaking also, Developmental Chef and Culinary Expert, Punshak Mark, said: “We have seen a need to be able to speak to the younger generation about nutrition and wellness. The Nestlé kids platform is a very big platform, so we decided to lash upon it so that we can talk to kids about simple basic tips and tricks on how to deliver simple nutrition and cooking processes.
“We also teach them to be able to use the available ingredient to get the required nutrients to be able to deliver a balanced meal”.
For the Director of the Association of Professional Chefs of Nigeria, FCT chapter, Chef Godfrey Mario, the event will go a long way to inculcate in the children the healthy essence of domestic cooking and personal hygiene.
“It also exposes them on how to appropriately purchase food items, and to be creative in playing with varieties in ingredient and colour when it comes to cooking. This way, they get balanced meal and diet that will help to reduce malnutrition in the society,” he said.