Chefs: behind healthy food choices, promoting healthy children
Student of Ilupeju Secondary School, Lagoswith its Artwork on International Chefs Day event organized by Nestlé Professional, Nestlé Nigeria PLC, on October 20, 2022 in Lagos
An analysis by Vivian Ihechu, Nigeria News Agency
“Lack or excess nutrition issues always encompass inappropriate choices and practices and nutrition education is an important step in empowering the consumer to make healthy food choices,” says the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
A core group of those who help make healthy food choices are chefs; trained professional cooks and marketers who are proficient in all aspects of food preparation.
Since 2004, chefs have been celebrated annually on October 20, International Chefs Day.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the day was created by the late Dr. Billy Gallagherrenowned leader and businessman, who was president of the South African Association of Chefs for 21 years.
Gallagher also became president of the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) in 1996.
Over the years, Chefs around the world have partnered with platforms such as Nestlé Professional – the company business that supplies the out-of-home catering industry – to teach young children the importance of proper nutrition. healthy thanks to workshops around the world.
From left to right: Chef Nick Maaji, Southwest Vice President, Association of Professional Chefs of Nigeria; Moronke Azeez, Executive Secretary, Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB); Funmi Osineye, Commercial Director, Nestlé Professional, Nestlé Nigeria PLC and Chef Eric Mekwuye, Director of Training and Corporate Affairs, Association of Professional Chefs Nigeria, at an International Chefs Day event hosted by Nestlé Professional , Nestlé Nigeria PLC, on October 20, 2022 in Lagos
Nestlé Professional in Nigeria celebrated International Chefs Day 2022 at the new Lagos State Culinary Academy, ikejawith students from public and private secondary schools in Lagos.
The event included training on the importance of healthy eating and healthy living, in line with this year’s International Chefs Day theme: “Cultivating a Healthy Future.
It was celebrated via a fun educational workshop and hands-on sessions coordinated by chefs with a hands-on approach for children.
They created recipes from fresh foods including vegetables, fruits and prepared healthy dishes during the cooking sessions.
Funmi Osineye, Business Manager, Nestlé Professional, said: “The well-being of their children is the fundamental objective of parents and caregivers.
It is also an indicator of the evolution of society.
“We are therefore committed to working with stakeholders to improve the wellbeing of future generations through nutrition education as well as the continued provision of high quality, nutritious food and beverages.
“Today’s event is a platform for continued engagement to encourage children to be creative with food.
Osineye recognized the Association of Professional Chefs of Nigeria (APCN) for its ongoing partnership with Nestlé to achieve the company’s global goal of helping 50 million children live healthier lives by 2030.
“We would like to thank the Association of Professional Chefs Nigeria for partnering with us over the years.
“We are also grateful to the administrators of the Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board for their collaboration in celebrating Leader’s Day 2022.
“We are delighted to see the genuine interest in training young people in Lagos State for gainful employment in the hospitality sector,” she added.
International Chefs Day: cross section of attendees and organizers at an International Chefs Day event hosted by Nestlé Professional, Nestlé Nigeria PLC on 20 October 2022 in Lagos
Speaking, Paul Okon, National President, Association of Professional Chefs Nigeria (APCN), said, “It has been a great pleasure to engage, educate and enlighten the children about healthy eating, as we believe it is the foundation of a healthy future.
“We sincerely appreciate the role that Nestlé Professional has played over the years, in promoting food tourism in Nigeria, supporting the development of chef skills and empowering the next generation of chefs.
In his comments, Moronke Azeez, Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB) said, “We are delighted to be working with Nestlé on this laudable initiative which has had a great impact and great learning exercise for kids.
“The event is fully in line with the aim of the recently established Lagos Culinary Academy to produce professionals for the hospitality industry while equipping students for entrepreneurship and work. independent.
Speaking about her experience, Chineze, an SS2 student from Ilupeju Secondary School, said she enjoyed the event and learned some practical meal recipes that she would cook at home.
On the importance of good nutrition, Dr. Mekwuye EricDirector of Training and Corporate Affairs, APCN, explained, “It is our first defense against disease and our source of energy to live and be energetic.
“The nutritional challenges caused by an inadequate diet can be diverse and when they affect a generation of young people, they can reduce their well-being and learning abilities.
“These can jeopardize their future.
He said that in some cases they could lead to an intergenerational cycle of malnutrition, which would ultimately have serious consequences for individuals and nations.
“Good nutrition means your body is getting all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals it needs to function at its best.
“Good nutrition helps increase your energy levels, improves your ability to fight disease, recover from illnesses and injuries; improves mental, cognitive and physical well-being
“It also reduces the risk of certain diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, certain cancers and osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and helps reduce high cholesterol, among others.
Chief Nick Maaji, Vice President, South WestAPCN, giving advice on healthy eating, said: “We know how all over the world we talk about climate change, floods, droughts, environmental pollution.
“So many things affect our environment and one of the biggest challenges in our environment is food.
“The way it is grown, harvested, stored, distributed, prepared, consumed, all can affect our environment
“So I encourage all of us to eat lots of fruit.
Eat whole fruit rather than in juice form; eat plenty of whole grains, have low-fat or fat-free milk.
“Also eat lean meats and poultry as they contain less fat and fewer calories.
Also, try other plant sources of protein and drink plenty of water.
In conclusion, Maaji said that with a good leader, there would be healthy people, families and a nation.
“Without good food, you cannot have a healthy future.
“Research shows that if we want to have a healthy future, we need to eat more vegetables, fruits, nuts and reduce our consumption of red meat and sugar to around 50%.
He advised chefs to pass on to the younger generation the need for a healthy meal to ensure a healthy future for humanity.