Ecuador: children learn about fruits and vegetables and good nutrition
The best education is learning practical habits that are useful for everyday life. At schools in the Imbabura Province in northern Ecuador, children are learning how to eat well and diversify their diets. At a fair in a central square in Ibarra, children like this boy dressed as a young chef explained how they have started to eat more vegetables and fruits and less junk food.
With support from the Imbabura Provincial Government and WFP, nutritional trainings reach students, teachers and parents at schools in Imbabura. WFP food rations and fresh, locally produced fruits and vegetables are provided to schools attended by Ecuadorian and Colombian children, thanks to a joint effort by both institutions. Colombian families cross the border into Ecuador to seek refuge from conflict in their country, and face difficult conditions until they can build new livelihoods.
Diego García, Prefect of the Imbabura Provincial Government, and WFP Representative Deborah Hines visit the fair. Prefect García reconfirmed his government’s interest in working together to improve child nutrition. According to joint findings, 24 percent of targeted children suffer from anemia and 57 percent are underweight.
Colorful materials are made available to teachers to help them explain how to improve family diets and why. The WFP stand at the fair displayed posters and placemats designed for this purpose. The idea that everyone should be involved in eating better, including the local government, has caught on in Imbabura. WFP donors for these efforts are USAID, Canada, Brazil and Luxembourg.
This student from the Mercedes de Troya School explained to fair visitors how fruits provide vitamins and other micronutrients. Children learn how to grow vegetables in a school garden as part of the project. At another stand, each child personified a fruit or vegetable and explained why she or he was a healthy food.
WFP support is extended to vulnerable groups, including indigenous groups and persons with disabilities. This girl explained in sign language why fruits and vegetables should be part of the daily diet.
Indigenous mothers from the Simon Bolivar School in the Cashualoma community prepared traditional foods at the fair.
In a joint effort by the Imbabura Provincial Government and WFP in Ecuador, a public fair was organized for children to present what have learned on good nutrition.