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Nutrition of children should be a priority – Nutritionist

Health Nutrition Children Nutritionist, Samuel Atuahene Antwi speaking to parents at a PTA meeting

Mon, 4 Oct 2021 Source: GNA

Mr. Samuel Atuahene Antwi, Tema Metropolitan Nutritionist has urged parents and school managements to develop an interest in the nutrition of their children and ensure they consume the required nutritional food.

He said children’s health depended largely on their nutritional status, adding that, as they were still growing, adequate nutrients supply could not be over-emphasised.

Mr. Antwi said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of a Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) meeting organised by Naylor SDA Basic School in Tema.

He added that dietary intake, which was the main source of nutrients should be based on informed decisions which included what should be made available in the school environment and how the children could make healthy choices based on knowledge and understanding.

He encouraged parents to ensure that their children’s meal was based on the four-star diet concept; “where every meal should be made up of a variety of ingredients from staples, legumes, animal source foods, and Vitamin A rich foods and other fruits and vegetables.

“Most of our local foods such as kenkey and fish, gari and beans, waakye and fish, banks and groundnut soup, among others, almost meet the four-star diet requirements, just that pupils should take fruits frequently as they eat these,” he said.

Touching on the role of stakeholders to ensure that children received the needed nutrients, Mr. Antwi stated that parents must have a take on the types of diet being served to their children in school.

He said parents must also make it a responsibility to ensure that their children take fruits to school and participate in the observation of fruits day in various schools; they must inculcate in their children the need to always choose a healthy diet either in school or at home.

For the schools, Mr. Antwi urged the management to ensure that healthy meals were served in the school environment, while the teachers also sustain sensitization of pupils on nutrition and health.

The Tema Metro Nutritionist added that schools must also make available hygiene facilities such as toilets and handwashing stations, which should be conducive for use.

Mr. Antwi again said school authorities must also ensure that their premises were safe for the physical activities of the children.

Source: GNA