By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
To achieve any impact in improvement of nutrition in Nigeria, there is a need of behavioural change, stressing that getting good nutrition does not have to be expensive.
Director, Development Aid Coordination Planning and Budgeting, State Committee For Nutrition (SFCN) Kaduna State, Phoebe Sukai Yayi emphasized this while presenting a paper titled: ‘An Overview of State Food and Nutrition Committee’ at a two-day workshop on malnutrition for Kaduna based journalists in Zaria on Friday.
“To achieve any significant behavioural change communication in terms of impact of consumption of locally grown foods and appropriate ways of cooking food must be on our front burners,” she said.
She explained that the nutritional values from home cooked or grown foods cannot be compared to those sourced from the market or fast food joints.
“A mango you pluck straight from the tree in your
compound is far more nutritional because the ones you buy from the market, you don’t know how long it may have been there, thereby losing value,” she added.
Yayi wondered why the mentality that the processed foods are better remain with most Nigerians, charging the media to change that mindset.
“You must tell people that the kose (beans balls) is better than the donuts, the dawa (guinea corn) is more nutritious and healthier than the processed food stuff, the koko (pap) is better than the soft drinks and a whole lot of others,” she stressed.
She advocated for a shift in consuming habits to settle for locally sourced meals rather than those that are laden with preservatives and other dangerous chemicals.
“We should have more house gardens, school gardens cannot be over emphasized in nutrition.
“Nutrition is multi a sectoral band therefore, a collective responsibility. Together we will and together we can,” she said.