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Healthy breakfasts, useful sweets, revived fruits: how International School Meals Day was celebrated in Armenia

The World Food Programme in Armenia and Social and Industrial Foodservice Institute celebrated International School Meals Day with a Healthy Nutrition Online Marathon Initiative in three schools of Kotayk marz. This year the topic for International School Meals Day "Eat for the health of it" reflects the importance of choosing affordable nutritious foods that benefit both the physical and psychological development of the child.

The topic of the holiday echoes the WFP's strategy in Armenia for the next 5 years - the Social Behaviour Change Campaign in Armenia. The fact is that the 2018 Global Nutrition Report showed two forms of the consequences of poor nutrition in Armenia: overweight and anemia. Therefore, over the next five years, WFP together with SIFI will work to eradicate these problems and help the people of the country realize the benefits of healthy eating and make it a habit.

One of the campaign first activities was online healthy nutrition marathon for 300 students in three schools of Kotayk marz. During the school week, children figured out how and what to eat in order to stay healthy, full of energy and study well. They got to know the concept of processed and unprocessed foods, how highly processed foods are created and how they can be dangerous, where sugar comes from, and why it is so important to limit it in your diet. Children also discovered an amazing and varied world of plant-based foods, learned the benefits of healthy breakfast and how to cook simple, healthy and tasty dishes for a better start of the day.

At the end of the marathon, a pleasant surprise awaited the most active participants - an interactive performance “The Mysterious Theft in Kitchenville”. Together with the main characters the children solved a terrible crime - the theft of useful vegetables and fruits that disappeared from the main symbol of Kitchenville - the Tree of Life. The performance was accompanied by games in which the children consolidated the knowledge gained at the online marathon. At the final part of the performance the children found out that candies can be healthy and useful, and themselves prepared such sweets at the master class, held by WFP nutritionist Vardanush Petrosyan.

Now schoolchildren in Kotayk marz know for sure that a healthy breakfast will boost their energy for the whole day. And if they want something sweet, they will eat a healthy dessert made from nuts and dried fruits with pleasure.

Meanwhile, WFP and SIFI will continue the Social Behaviour Change Campaign in Armenia. There are many interesting activities and events ahead. Follow our news.

*The format of the event provided respect to social distance among all participants.