The Federal Government has urged Nigerians to embrace locally available foods to improve food security.
The FG said this at the ongoing 2022 nutrition week organised by the Civil Society-Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, and other partners with the theme ‘Achieving Sustainable Diets through Consumption of Locally Available Foods.’
Speaking at the nutrition awareness programme held at the Internally Displaced Persons’ Camp in Wassa, Abuja, the Deputy Director, Food and Nutrition Division, Department of Social Development, FMFB&NP, Chito Nelson said there is a need to eat healthy foods and ensure food security.
“The nutrition week is set aside to create awareness on nutrition, encourage people to eat healthily, and manage their homes to ensure that there is food security.
“These days, we’ve observed high consumption of industrialised food and we are no longer eating local foods. There are some local foods that are getting extinct that people don’t even know about it anymore.
“There are some local foods we want people to keep eating. Some of the young ones no longer like eating locally-made food. They don’t like eating beans but it’s quite healthy. If you combine beans with rice, the taste is better and the amino acid content in both the cereal and beans complement each other.
“We want to encourage them, we know that the economy is hard but any small portion of land they have around their homes, they can grow something to help their families.”
Also, the FCT Nutrition Officer, Clementina Okoro urged mothers to initiate exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, starting within an hour of birth for infants.
“This week, we are joining our mothers to promote nutrition at the national and the sub-national levels and we have chosen the IDP camp in the Wassa community, knowing that with their situation, having access to food could be challenging, especially sustainable foods and part of what we are promoting is exclusive breastfeeding for children that are less than six months because it is a sustainable diet.
“At six months, they should have a balanced diet from their local environment, foods that are locally grown. Whatever food they get from their environment can be fortified with micronutrients to improve their nutrition.
“This is because micronutrient deficiencies are not visible to the eyes. Before it becomes visible, it’s already advanced. So, we want people to be healthy,” Okoro said.
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