Good Health and Wellbeing of children are fundamental goals for parents and caregivers as well as an indicator for societal development. A key Sustainable Development Goal, Good Health and Wellbeing creates the needed foundation for the growth and development of children.
In observation of International Chefs Day, Nestlé for Healthier Kids (N4HK), a non-branded program under Nestlé’s Creating Shared Value Concept brought together Professional Chefs, Teachers, and Schoolchildren of Asafo Agona East District Assembly Basic School in the Central Region to promote healthier lifestyle through series of practical demonstrations under the theme “Healthy Foods for Growing Up”. The children were grouped based on their career aspirations including Doctors, Teachers, Farmers, Athletes, and Artistes. They were guided by Chefs to prepare recipes with local, familiar and healthy foods and were thought basic healthy eating habits to guarantee them reaching their dreams.
Addressing the school, Managing Director of Nestlé Ghana, Philomena Tan in a speech read on her behalf said, “We can only build a better future for our children today if we take their nutrition and wellbeing seriously. A healthy child today is an asset to society. Through the Nestlé for Healthier Kids Program and our fortification agenda, we are contributing to fulfilling our 2030 global ambition to help 50 million children lead healthier lives”. “this is one way we bring to life our purpose of enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future”, she added.
According to the District Director of Ghana Education Service, Agona East District, Vida Amoah Mintah “Programs such as Nestlé for Healthier Kids help the mental development of the schoolchildren while they learn the importance of healthy eating. I am pleased to see that local and familiar foods are used in educating the kids. This will make it easier for them to share what they learn about good nutrition with their parents at home to prepare healthy foods for the family”. She thanked Nestlé Ghana for bringing such a healthy initiative to the Asafo Agona East District schoolchildren and called on other institutions to emulate Nestlé.
In Ghana, especially rural communities, good nutrition and healthy lifestyle awareness are lacking. It is estimated that 35% of children in Ghana are anemic with concurrent iron deficiency, while vitamin A deficiency affect about 25% of pre-school children according to the 2017 Ghana Micronutrient Survey.
N4HK is a comprehensive program that empowers parents, caregivers and educators to foster healthier eating, drinking and lifestyle habits among children 3-12 years of age. In Ghana, N4HK is implemented in partnership with the University of Ghana’s Department of Nutrition and Food Science and the Ghana Education Service. Since inception of the program in 2011, over 25,000 Ghanaian children have been reached with models such as Healthy Hydration, Nutrition Quiz, Vegetable Gardening, and Physical Activity. The N4HK contributes to UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 – Good Health and Wellbeing.