By Blessing Amadi
Lagos State Deputy Governor, Idiat Oluranti Adebule, has commended FrieslandCampina WAMCO for its Peak 456 healthy eating and lifestyle initiative, which she said would have a far-reaching effect on both the physical and mental development of the Nigerian child.
In a goodwill message delivered on her behalf by the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mrs. Adebunmi Adekanye, at the launch of the initiative held in Lagos, the deputy governor said: “The future of every nation lies with her children. 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.”
At the briefing, Corporate Affairs Director, FrieslandCampina WAMCO, Ore Famurewa, said the Nigerian version of the programme was themed: “Eating Healthy and Staying Active.”
She noted that eating and lifestyle habits were formed during childhood and do last a lifetime, stressing that there was need to educate and support children right from their formative years in order to inculcate healthy lifestyle and behavior among them.
“Our goal is to drive healthy eating and active lifestyle habits by educating children from young age. We realise 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,” she 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.”
President of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN), Dr. Bartholomew Brai, who spoke through a representative, stated that nutrition, especially in young children must be taken as a very key component of their overall development and stated the need to ensure children ingest all the five basic food groups.