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A selection of fresh foods from all essential foods provides a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle, said Nestlé Nigeria Plc on Saturday in Lagos.

Ms. Victoria Uwadoka, Director of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs (CCPA) at Nestlé Nigeria, announced this at an event dedicated to the 2018 International Cooks Day.

The International Chefs Day is celebrated annually on the 20th of October.

The theme for 2018: "Healthy Eating for Growing Up" is intended to encourage children to think about what they will like to be when they grow up and how healthy eating can help them get there.

According to Uwadoka, the body needs a variety of nutrients from protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamin and mineral classes to stay healthy and productive.

"At Nestlé, we believe that food and drink can be both tasty and healthy, and food plays an important role in a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.

"So the World Chefs Day is an opportunity for us to get together with the cooking community who make sure we have something to eat to raise people's awareness of the importance of healthy eating, healthy eating habits, especially for children.

"It's important to know how to nourish the food we eat, eat healthy and grow up healthy to realize our dream of quality living, because it's one thing to be alive and one thing to live well.

"Good food makes us live a good and good life, and for us at Nestlé, our goal is to contribute to a healthier future for individuals and our families," said Uwadoka.

She added, "If you eat well on the basic days, past days of your life, there is a greater chance of becoming healthier, getting stronger and not having any of the health challenges that people have in later years.

"Therefore, it is important that, like World Cooking Day, we take every opportunity to sensitize people to the importance of a healthy diet.

"It's also what the World Federation of Cooks is doing to bring the chefs and kids together so they can learn about healthy eating early in life.

"Our Nestlé for Healthy Kids program was launched as part of our commitment to improving children's nutrition.

"Through this dynamic collaboration with International Chefs Day chefs, we are making great strides in helping children to eat better and establish healthy eating habits and diets when they grow up."

Uwadoka invited the students to share what they learned from the cooking demonstrations with their families and friends.

Mr. Akintunde Adeshina, popularly known as Chef Shine, said Chef's Day was designed to ensure that the profession is maintained.

Chef Shine, who works at Nestlé Nigeria Plc, urged Nigerians to enjoy the habit of eating fresh and healthy foods.

"It's important to teach the children how to eat healthily and make healthy foods from fresh foods and vegetables.

"We should go back to the base we started on, we have a good food choice and we need to benefit from it.

"Almost every house can grow one or the other food, and we should do that to prevent so many additives from being added to our food and to reduce the rate of eating processed foods.

"We should make sure that we eat more vegetables and fruits in our food," the cook advised.

Another chef, Chef Ehi, also said that International Chefs Day was designed to celebrate the profession and to translate culinary knowledge and skills into a sense of pride and dedication to future generations.

In his opinion, being a chef is exciting because you experiment with a whole host of ingredients to get really tasty meals.

"You also make a lot of money, you can always be self-reliant if you want, as a chef you can always create and market food, you can work freelance and travel.

"The most important thing about cooking, however, is that it helps boost the economy, improve our social lives and help us live healthy," he said.

Chef Ehis said the basics for a good chef in the kitchen are focused, alert, creative, understanding how to mix food classes and, above all, to recognize and practice good hygiene.

Miss Sylvia Afolabi, a student who participated in the program, said that she found cooking very exciting indeed.

She says she will share her findings with her family and friends and encourage them to adopt healthy eating habits.

Another participant, Miss Chikum Peter-Ihechu, had learned the importance of good hygiene in the kitchen.

Mr Ayo Adedeji, who also attended, should commend Nestlé's and Koch's efforts to launch the program.

He said he would be an ambassador for healthy eating and healthy living.

NAN reports that the program is part of the activities of Nestlé for Healthy Kids, a global initiative resumed in Nigeria in May.

Its purpose is to promote healthy eating habits, healthy eating habits, healthy hydration and an active lifestyle among schoolchildren.

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