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International School Meals Day was celebrated in Zar Village Secondary School in Armenia

On March 6-10, together with the UN WFP in Armenia and the School Feeding and Child Welfare Agency we held Healthy Nutrition Week at Zar village Secondary School after Zh. Sargsyan (Kotayk Marz).
The event was launched as a part of the 11th celebration of International School Meals Day, which is a beloved tradition for schools that are involved in the School Feeding Programme in Armenia. This year International School Meals Day was focused on the theme "Our changing food - approaches, menus, and meals."
The Healthy Nutrition Week celebration in Armenia was based on offering children to taste healthy recipes, to teach them the basics of healthy and well-balanced nutrition and help them develop healthy eating habits from childhood.

With this idea in mind the organizers created a festive atmosphere for a whole week in schools, going through an exciting quest together: Zar Secondary School after Zh. Sargsyan primary school students, with the help of their teachers on each day of the Healthy Nutrition Week, opened a calendar in which they found funny and captivating tasks. All the other schools had the opportunity to participate on-line as the whole list of the tasks had been published on the website of the School Feeding and Child Welfare Agency.

On the final day, March 10, the children were surprised to find an invitation to the big festive event at their school.
The celebration of International School Meals Day brought together schoolchildren of primary grades and their parents, as well as honorable guests from the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports and Kotayk Marzpetaran. The event was attended by the Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports Araksia Svajyan and senior specialist of the Education department of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports of Kotayk Marzpetaran Tatevik Hakhverdyan.

Welcoming the organizers of the event, Araksia Svajyan emphasized the importance of holding similar events, especially in those schools that are involved in the School Feeding Programme: "One of the priorities of the RA government is the implementation of the School Feeding Programme in public schools. Thanks to this project and cooperation with our partners, a number of school canteens have been renovated and equipped with modern equipment, as well as the cooks have been trained. One of the most important goals of the program is also to consolidate community efforts to include healthy food and healthy lifestyle in the school component and thereby form public behavior. I think we have all the grounds for the program to be regularly implemented in Yerevan as well."

The headmaster of Zh.Sargsyan Secondary school Amalya Hovhannisyan in her opening speech warmly welcomed all the guests, congratulated them with the International School Meals Day and expressed her hope that the event will become a beginning of a continuous and effective cooperation and wished everybody a day full of impressions.

The celebration continued with an interactive performance for children. Together with the heroes of the performance - Super Healthy Carrot and Harmful Hamburger, the children learned how to replace the harmful burger with a healthy one, how to replace sweets in the ration, how healthy it is to eat more vegetables, fruits, and why it is important to reduce the consumption of fatty and sweet products. The performance was accompanied by many games, experiments and dances, which helped the children to learn the important truths of healthy eating in a playful way.

The healthy nutrition of the child starts with the family. That’s why children’s mothers also took part in the celebration. With the help of an experienced cook the parents made a healthy pizza and cookies in order to get acquainted with the basics of healthy nutrition in practice and to cook a couple of healthy and at the same time tasty dishes.

The children had the opportunity to try the healthy meals made by their parents and shared their feedback about them. Most of the children liked the dishes, as they signed in the ballot papers in front of “It was tasty, I would like to taste it again” point.