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[FAR Health Programs]: One Year Later, Aragatsotn Project Demonstrates Success


The lives of Tsaghkahovit Village Kindergarten students, 4-year-old Gor Terjyan, and 6-year-old Areg Harutyunyan, have drastically changed since their school started offering more nutritious meals. To the delight and relief of their parents, they have become more active and have even put on a healthy amount of weight.

“Now, when Gor comes home from kindergarten he’s not starving for a snack. He feels satisfied enough that he doesn’t immediately grab candy or fruit like he used to. He has also developed an eating routine and some discipline, which I find very healthy,” said his mother, Liana.

Among his favorite dishes are rice soup with chicken and veggies, dolma, cottage cheese and crackers.

“When Areg was two, he had a bowel disorder and had to undergo treatment. I felt insecure every time I brought him to the kindergarten, but now I am certain that there is no reason to worry. He hasn’t had any digestive problems so far,” said Areg’s mother, Hayarpi, who tries her best to cook meals at home which are similar to those served at school. She admits that she often can’t capture the same flavor. “Areg sometimes complains about the meals, telling me ‘It doesn’t taste like Mrs. Narine’s meals.’”

In order to positively impact and improve the health of even more children, in 2018 FAR decided to replicate its BCPP school nutrition program, which was already implemented in 18 kindergartens in the Berd Region, at Norashen and Tsaghkahovit kindergartens in the Aragatsotn Province. The school’s menus now have a variety of nutritious dishes that are served daily to 110 children, and the program also helps to raise awareness among local doctors, teachers and parents on the importance of good nutrition for the region.