Oluranti Adebule, The Deputy Governor of Lagos State has reiterated the need to ensure that children especially at their early stage in life are well nourished, healthy and educated saying that the future of every nation lies with her children. No nation can achieve greatness either economically or politically without the children.
Adebule also commended FrieslandCampina WAMCO for her 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.
She said this in a goodwill message delivered on her behalf by the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Adebunmi Adekanye at the media launch of the initiative held in Lagos.
Nigeria’s leading dairy company, FrieslandCampina WAMCO launched the Peak 456 initiative in partnership with the Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN) to promote healthy eating and exercise among children in Nigeria aged four to six years old.
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.
Ore Famurewa the Corporate Affairs Director, FrieslandCampina WAMCO, speaking during a media briefing on the project, disclosed that 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, there is a need to educate and support children right from their formative years in order to inculcate healthy lifestyle and behaviour 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.” Famurewa said.
Bartholomew Brai, the President of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN), 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.
“We must ensure our children have an adequate diet by including all the five food groups in their diet every day. 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.
Zatur Hassim, the Marketing Manager IFT in recognition of the roles teachers play in the development of children, 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.”