This article is an extract of one of the objectives from the master study entitled “Significant skills for effective teaching of Food and Nutrition in selected secondary schools of Kitwe District of the copperbelt Province Zambia. The study was motivated by the persistence of infectious diseases and the mushrooming of non-communicable diseases due to lack of knowledge and skills in Food and Nutrition among the public in general. This is so because most Zambians take health living for granted (Begum, 2008).
The study thus called for solutions to promoting and nurturing of the practical teaching and learning of Food and Nutrition in Zambian schools. In achieving this task, the study employed a case study which adopted both quantitative and qualitative paradigms. Data for the study was collected from ten (10) secondary schools in Kitwe District including the District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) and Mukuba University. The total sample size was fifty – five (55). Questionnaire data were analyzed using Microsoft excel and STATA that were interpreted into tables, frequencies and graphs whilst qualitative data were analyzed using emerging themes and sub-themes.
The findings revealed that Health living is an easy thing taken for granted whether you live where health and nutrition is in abundance or not. The life of human is a process of growth and development, on one hand he absorbs all kinds of nutrients from food and on the other hand he is exposed to potential attacks by various pathogens. Only through balanced nutrition intake can all systems of the human body function in harmony and the immunity be enhance to keep diseases at bay (Richard, 2009).
Being merely free of any diseases based on balanced nutrition is not the only step towards health. Longitivity is built upon health metabolism helped by normal activities of cells, tissues and systems of human body. Smooth circulation ensures health growth and development of human body throughout life process which lay the foundation for longitivity.
Therefore, healthy nutrition interventions need to occur early in childhood and adolescence in order to prevent or reverse the adverse health effects of overweight and poor eating habits. Childhood and adolescence is a critical period for diets of high nutritional quality as the physiological need for nutrients is relative to energy needs. In addition, many core eating habits and behaviour patterns are developed that may persist throughout adulthood.
Hence, Schools provide an important opportunity for prevention, because they provide the most effective methods of teaching and reaching large numbers of people which includes children, youth, school staff, families and community members.
Hence, healthy food and improved nutrition should be a high priority on every school agenda because of the positive effect on the child well-being, and subsequent enhanced learning ability and academic performance. Through effective teaching of Food and Nutrition as a compulsory subject from an early stage in the revised curriculum of hands on and by creating Healthy Promoting Schools, pupils can greatly improve their life qualities and live at full potential. Pupils who learn Food and Nutrition will realise that people, who live healthy, live at full potential physically and mentally. So they will extend their love and care to people around them, to the community and to the whole Nation (Caballero, 2001).Thus the study made the following recommendations (1). The government through the Ministry of General Education should buy the necessary equipment, materials, and ingredients needed for practical lesson in schools. (2) The government through the Ministry of General Education should make Food and Nutrition a standalone subject and make it a compulsory subject from primary level to tertiary level. (3) The government should start training teachers in Food and Nutrition as a standalone course in Colleges and Universities (4) the government should also start conducting surveys on the practical methods of Food and Nutrition.