Developing capacity for strengthening food security and nutrition

FAO promotes healthy eating - key to the future of children

A unique event on raising the Food Security and Nutrition Public Awareness was held on 17 November in one of the main shopping centres of Yerevan, Armenia, aiming to achieve children’s human right to food, education and health in a comprehensive way. An interactive theatre play attracted more than 100 people interested to learn about healthy food and nutrition in the country.

The effects of malnutrition on the nutritional status and health of children are well known and there is a growing body of evidence confirming its association with subsequent poor school performance, behaviour, attention and attendance. Hence, increasing the knowledge of population on healthy diet, nutrition, food security and social protection is vital.

The event is part of the activities conducted by the FAO project “Developing Capacity for Strengthening Food Security and Nutrition in Selected Countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia”, funded by the Russian Federation, and in partnership, for this specific activity, with the National Institute of Health of the Ministry of Health. Overall, the project activities are designed to strengthen food security and nutrition in selected countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia, including Armenia. The project specifically aims at reducing prevalence of food insecurity and malnutrition achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 2: end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.

The selected location, being usually crowded during this time of the year, permitted to reach many people and made them interested to participate, share and gain knowledge on healty eating. Professional actors from the most popular theatrical troop in Yerevan, the Artistic Theater “Mher Mkrtchyan”, added colour to the learning journey and spread a positive attitude towards healthy eating, healthy lifestyle, and hygiene among children. The information and key messages delivered were meant to create general understanding and basic knowledge on food security and nutrition.

“Teaching kids to eat healthy is not an easy task” said Zaruhi Beglaryan, the FAO project coordinator in Armenia. “Learning about healthy nutrition doesn’t need to be boring. That was the reason on choosing the interactive theatrical play as a way to convey general messages on healthy nutrition and lifestyle to schoolchildren as well as their parents and teachers”.

The significant importance of the activity attracted the interest of the media which documented the entire activity, devoting a TV programme on national television.