FCT Universal Education Board and Nestlé Nigeria PLC with support from Nigeria Association of Professional Chefs on Thursday trained pupils on healthy cooking and eating to enhance nutrition indices in Nigeria.
According to the board and Nestle, plans are also on to train more children on healthy cooking and its importance.
Mr. Baba Aboki, the Deputy Director, School Health, FCT Universal Education Board, disclosed at an event to mark the International Chefs Day hosted by Nestlé Nigeria PLC and the Association of Professional Chefs of Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja.
Aboki said that the partnership between the board and the organisation was to train primary five pupils in selected schools to enhance nutrition in the country. He added that Nestlé had also supported the board in capacity building for teachers and headteachers of some selected primary schools across the FCT.
He urged teachers and students to cascade and step down the training down to their schools and their communities, noting that plans were in top gear between the two parties to expand the training beyond the 10 pilot schools.
Mrs. Amaka Nwokorie, the Category Manager of Nestlé Professionals, said the organisation partnered the chefs on healthier cooking and feeding. She added that Nestlé was known as the world number one nutrition and wellness company.
She said “Nestlé believes that the better way to start healthier eating was to start with the kids, the leaders of tomorrow. We partner with the Universal Education Board of the FCT to teach pupils from selected primary schools in the territory on the art of healthy eating.’’
Nwokorie noted that obesity due to unhealthy eating habits and malnutrition was one of the major problems in Nigeria and other countries.
According to her, pupils from the pilot schools across the FCT are expected to be champions of nutrition and healthy eating habits in their schools and communities. She said the nutrition arm of the organisation was already working with doctors, nurses and other key players in the health sector to reduce malnutrition in the country.
She reiterated the commitment of Nestlé Nigeria to work with the Universal Education Board in the FCT to sustain the partnership toward a healthier generation.
Chef Punshak Mark, the Director Finance, Nigeria Association of Professional Chefs, said there was a need to talk to pupils on nutrition and wellness through the Nestlé Healthy Kids platform.
According to him, the association collaborates with Nestlé to talk to pupils on the basic simple tricks of delivering simple nutritious cooking processes in line with the theme of the event “How Healthy Food Works.”
While discussing the theme of the event, Mark noted that “healthy food does not start from eating but from purchasing, one must buy fresh and high-quality ingredients.”