Nestlé Ghana inspires healthier lifestyles among schoolchildren with vegetable gardening

Pupils of Duabone R/C Primary School, a beneficiary school in the Agona East District, of the Central Region of Ghana, now grow and eat more vegetables, to maintain a healthier lifestyle, thanks to the collaboration between Nestlé and the Ghana Education Service, as part of implementation of the Nestlé for Healthier Kids .

Under the Nestlé for Healthier Kids, a global flagship programme, the company is supporting parents and caregivers on their journey to raise healthier kids. At Nestlé, we believe that by helping new generations eat and drink better and move more, we enhance quality of life and contribute to a healthier future. The company has set an ambition to help 50 million children lead healthier lives by 2030.

In Ghana, the nutrition education component of Nestle for Healthier Kids helps to raise nutrition and health knowledge and promotes physical activity among school-aged children. The programme is implemented with additional key modules such as vegetable gardening, healthy hydration, physical activities, and nutrition quiz. The Vegetable Gardening module teaches Pupils the importance of including vegetables in daily food intake, and how to grow them using the right farming tools and methods.

The 2017 Ghana micronutrient survey recently published highlights that 35% of children are anaemic with concurrent iron deficiency, with vitamin A deficiency affecting about 25% of pre-school children.

In order to help curb malnutrition, there is the need for organizations to rise up to the challenge with innovative means to help children have access to key nutrients in their daily food intake and proper care for their growth and wellbeing.

According to Head Teacher of the School, Mr. Lawrence Nyame, Duabone R/C Primary School is under the School feeding program, thus vegetables grown are added to other produce to cook for the Pupils. He noted that the pupils have learnt a lot from the module and some have their own gardens, which they spend time on during vacations and use produce for food at home.

Happy Awugya is a Class 6 Pupil of the school who finds the Vegetable Gardening an exciting activity. “Through the lessons provided, I now know how to grow vegetables. I own a garden at home where I grow, carrot, chili pepper, and okro. I harvest them from time to time to support cooking in the house. I have also learnt that vegetables offer the human bodies vitamins needed for growth and staying healthy”.

Since inception of the Nestlé’s programme in 2011, a total of 23,974 pupils have been reached. Nutrition education is embedded in classroom lessons and physical outdoor activities delivered by teachers and supervisors, who have been trained on the modules developed by Nestle in collaboration with the University of Ghana Nutrition and Food Science Department and the Curriculum and Research Department of the Ghana Education Service. About 7,014 children have participated in the Vegetable Gardening module planting okro, carrot and chili pepper.

“We are on course to achieving our ambition through nutrition education, helping children make healthier food choices, and fortifying our products with the necessary micronutrients to address deficiencies”, said Mrs. Freda Duplan, Managing Director of Nestlé Ghana.

Apart from learning how to grow vegetables, the module also encourages consumption, and provides hands on experience on what goes in to the production of fruits and vegetables. It generates sense of pride and great excitement for the pupils during harvest of their produce.

Nestlé for Healthier Kids is in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 2 and 3, which respectively seek to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture as well as ensure healthy lives and promotes well-being for all at all ages.