Dr. Oluranti Adebule, The Deputy Governor of Lagos State, has commended Peak 456 Growing Up Milk and the Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN) for their continued effort in promoting healthy eating and active lifestyle habits in children and communities across the country. She stated this at the media launch of the Peak 456 Drink Move Be Strong (DMBS) pre-school programme which held in Lagos on Thursday 9th August, 2018. Speaking at the event, Adebule who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Deputy Governor, Lagos State, Mrs. Yetunde Adefolahan Odejayi and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Lagos State, Mrs. Adebunmi Adekanye, stated the importance of ensuring that children imbibe healthy eating habits from an early age for a positive impact on their well-being.
“The future of our nation is dependent on the children we raise today. We need to ensure our children receive the right nutrition and education to secure the socio-economic and political well-being of our nation. Your intervention through this programme is a welcome development that will help many homes, families and children have access to the nutritional values and requirements for proper healthy living,” she said. In 2017, Nigeria’s leading dairy company, FrieslandCampina WAMCO piloted the Peak 456 DMBS Pre-School Programme in partnership with the Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN) to promote healthy eating and exercise among children in Lagos aged four to six years old. The results of the pilot were positive lifestyle changes in nutrition and exercise among teachers, pupils and parents.
The partnership is in line with the FrieslandCampina WAMCO global project tagged ‘Drink, Move Be Strong’ school programme that will engage and educate school children on healthy eating and active living. This year, in Nigeria, the initiative has scaled up to include seven more locations namely Ogun, Ibadan, Benin, Enugu, Abuja, Kaduna and Kano, as well as Lagos, focusing on “eating healthy and staying active.” Speaking at the media briefing, the Corporate Affairs Director, FrieslandCampina WAMCO, Ore Famurewa, said: “From childhood, we form our eating and lifestyle habits and these habits have impact on us into adulthood. It is of utmost importance to inculcate in children from their developmental years a healthy lifestyle and behaviour through education and modelling. “Schools play an important role in teaching children the importance of adequate nutrition and developing good eating habits. An early start of making healthy choices as children will make it easier for them to keep up these habits as adults,” Famurewa said.
Specialized Nutrition Director, Zatur Hassim,further emphasized the role of schools in the development of healthy children. “Children at the age of four to six years are influenced by teachers almost every day during the school term. Teachers need to be equipped with the right knowledge and tools to educate their pupils on healthy eating and active lifestyle. “The aim of setting up teachers’ workshop by FrieslandCampina WAMCO in partnership with Nutrition Society of Nigeria is to empower pre-school teachers with the right knowledge on child nutrition,” Zatur said.
In line with this, the company gave out Peak 456 DMBS toolkits to support teachers in their classrooms. The teachers were equipped with nutrition knowledge to pass on to their pupils. In addition, teachers were taught the ‘Peak 456 Exercise Moves’ – a simple exercise routine synced to the Peak 456 song. Also speaking at the launch, the President of Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN), Dr. Bartholomew Brai, explained that nutrition especially in young children not only impacts their physical well-being but their mental development.
“Adequate nutrition supports the mental and physical development of our children. All the five food groups must be eaten every day to deliver an adequate diet to our children. A commonly forgotten food group is dairy, yet dairy contains key macro- and micro-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 DMBS pre-school program .FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria PLC recommends children between the ages four to six years to drink at least a glass of Peak 456 Growing Up Milk a day to help support their physical and mental development.