LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte, July 5, –The ‘lowly kangkong’ and its other vegetable-friends will be literally walking down the streets of Laoag City in Ilocos Norte this month.
Veggie Mascots will take part in a Veggie Fun Walk and a Veggie Mini Trade Fair in celebration of the 38th Nutrition Month celebration in the province.
These are just some of the activities lined up for this year’s celebration which focuses on vegetables with the theme “Pagkain ng gulay ugaliin, araw-araw itong ihain.”
According to Elma Irapta, Provincial Nutrition Action Officer, this year’s theme aims to increase vegetable consumption among the public as part of a healthy diet to address micronutrient deficiencies and non-communicable diseases.
“We are urging the public, especially parents to teach the children, to eat more vegetables particularly the green leafy ones as these very rich in vitamins and minerals that help fight non-communicable diseases such as heart disease and diabetes,” Irapta said.
Irapta also said the celebration also aims to promote vegetable gardening as a source of additional food and income. “We have lots of land in the province. We can plant in our backyards, gardens, in open spaces or on pots. We can get our fresh supply of vegetables from these.”
Many groups in the barangays and students in public schools in the province plant vegetables in open spaces for their consumption and sold in the market for their added income.
During the Veggie Fun Walk on July 18, vegetable mascots from the 21 municipalities and national agencies will walk from the Centennial Arena towards the Provincial Capitol where a mini trade fair showcasing the province’s vegetable produce awaits participants.
Likewise, there will a free nutrition and diet counseling by the officers and members of the Nutritionist-Dietitians’ Association of the Philippines-Ilocos Norte Chapter.
The program will be capped with the awarding of the 5 outstanding Municipal Nutrition Action Officers and Barangay Nutrition Scholars.
The Provincial Nutrition Council will also be conducting an information drive to heighten public knowledge on the values of vegetables to health.(ANL/CPC PIA1 Ilocos Norte)