… and it’s a wrap! After 4 weeks of hands-on experiential learning in nature’s classroom, and going on a garden to fork adventure, Kids Nutri-garden™ Vacation School (KNGVS) 4.0 came to a close with a lot of fun and a foodfair exhibition on Friday 3 September 2021. It was well attended by parents, alumni of KNGVS and special guests, among whom were the Provost, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan (CoMUI), Professor Olayinka O. Omigbodun (represented by the Deputy Provost, Professor A.F. Adeniyi); HOD, Human Nutrition and Dietetics,  Professor R. A. Sanusi (represented by Mrs. Opeyemi Akintimeyin); Director, Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI), University of Ibadan (UI), Professor Oyedunni Arulogun; Director of UI, sports council, Dr. I. A. Salami (represented); HOD Soil and Tree nutrition, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Dr. O. A. Onawumi, and one of her scientists, Mrs Nkechinyere Isienyi; lecturers from the Department of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Mr. Segun Ojo from UI Teaching and Research Farm, external exhibitors, among others.

The Food and Funfair Exhibition was an opportunity for parents and guests present to have a glimpse of what the kids who participated in the vacation school had learned and how the school had impacted them in creative ways. The kids creatively showcased their learnings through songs, drama, and poems.  They also had interesting items in their exhibition stands: Nutri-kitchen (where they exhibited on-the-go healthy and nutritious tasty meals, Nutri-garden produce (vegetables grown organically with their own hands!), Nutri-crafts (artistic works created from plastic waste), among others. Teamwork and coordination were observable skills in all the kids coupled with the confidence and knowledge to make healthy life choices. External exhibitors also came to showcase their goods at the event: Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), Dr Pearls enterprise, Willfort agrofarms, Feedright farms.

Certificate of participation and a picture collage of some memorable moments of each kid during KNGVS and ‘tools of trade’ (gardening tools, vegetable seeds, kitchen apron), were given to them. The kids were encouraged to be ambassadors of good nutrition to their peers and family members. Some parents shared positive experiences as a result of the child(ren)’s participation in KNGVS.

KNGVS since inception in 2016, provides school-age children (7-12years) that life-time teaching, opportunity and ability to appreciate the environment where their food comes from and portrays the need for healthy eating to be able to live a long and healthy life. This is achieved through garden-enhanced nutrition education which includes hands-on vegetable gardening activities alongside interactive nutrition education lessons, healthy cooking, food demonstration activities, and sports to help children make better healthy choices. The kids extend their learnings to their families and community. The food and fun fair exhibition is an important aspect of KNGVS, because it is an opportunity for the kids to engage with the local community and extend their learnings to them too.

KNGVS is anchored in Department of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Ibadan during the long vacation of schools in August and collaborates with UI teaching and research farm and the UI sports council for her core activities. This year’s edition held from 2 August to 3 September 2021 with the theme: Growing minds in nature’s classroom: The garden to fork adventure

The programme is coordinated by Shirley Isi Ejoh (Ph.D), assisted by students (Association of Nutrition Science Stusdents (ANSS)) and volunteers within and outside the Department of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Public Health, CoMUI.

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