Parents and school authorities have been advised to create a healthy food environment for children to enable them develop habits of eating right. Most school compounds and their immediate surroundings in the Tema Metropolis have become grounds for selling unhealthy foods especially fizzy drinks, biscuits and in some cases kebabs.
Mr Samuel Atuahene Antwi, Tema Metropolitan Nutritionist, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said it was about time parents and schools made a conscious effort to teach children to make informed decisions on what to eat.
Mr Atuahene Antwi indicated that due to the unhealthy food environment around children, they develop a taste for unhealthy food by choosing drinks and junk food over healthy ones.
He pleaded with school authorities to allow the sale of only healthy foods on their compounds,suggesting that they could have a fruit stand where children could easily buy their favourite.
Healthy food, he stated, must be balanced with vitamin A rich foods and other fruits and vegetables, animal foods, legumes, peas and nuts, staples, and energy giving food. He added that this would encourage the intake of fruits as most parents used the excuse of fruits prepared from home going bad before snack time, as a justification to feed children with fizzy drinks.
The nutritionist further urged school authorities and parents to plan their menu to include the various nutrients to ensure that food served to children were well balanced. He noted that carbonated drinks contained only calories without the needed nutrients found in fruits which could lead to child obesity with nutrient deficiency.