After a successful piloting of vegetable gardening in the Duabone R/C School in the Central Region, Nestlé Ghana has rolled out the vegetable gardening programme to other schools in the region to promote the consumption of vegetables among school children. The programme is a Nestlé Health Kids (NHK) initiative which promotes healthy lifestyles among school age children.
During the pilot, teachers and district officials alike were trained on best practices on successful vegetable gardening which include soil preparation, organic manuring, pruning and watering. The vegetable gardens are supervised by Teachers who provided practical training and experience to the children.
It was all fun and learning when Duabone R/C Primary in the Central Region kick started the pilot phase in July 2015. The students and teachers enthusiastically engaged in garden selection through planting, harvesting and cooking lessons. Before the start of the pilot phase, teachers were trained by Agricultural Experts from the University of Ghana School Of Agriculture.
Nestlé is committed to ensuring that children eat healthy diets and engage in active lifestyles. The company believes that one of the effective ways to encourage children to eat fruits and vegetables is to introduce them to how vegetables are grown and harvested.
Between April and June 2016, the Vegetable gardening component was also scaled up to schools implementing the Nestlé Healthy Kids programme in the Ashanti, Northern and Western regions.
Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme
Promoting healthy diets and lifestyles, including physical activity forms a core value of the programme. We aim at helping children understand the role that nutrition plays in their lives and how to balance good nutrition with an active lifestyle.
The Nestlé Healthy Kids Global Programme focuses on nutrition education and physical activity, providing information on balanced diets, positive approaches to food and practical advice on improving eating habits. That is why the vegetable gardening concept comes handy in promoting healthy eating habits in schools and communities.
In Ghana, the University of Ghana Nutrition and Food Science Department and the Ghana Education Service have actively participated in the development and implementation of the programme.
The Nestlé Healthy Kids programme started in Ghana in 2011 and by 2015, the programme had reached
14,000 children directly. The partners also introduced an indirect outreach to over 60,000 children through
an interactive publication format with the Junior Graphic.
Koomson James, a school teacher in the Duabone community is one of the teachers who was part of the
training. “The training offered by the University of Ghana facilitated our learning of good gardening and
agricultural practices. Parents should be encouraged to engage in vegetable garden activities as it will help
children identify good sources of nutrition”.