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Nutrition for Healthy Physical and Cognitive Growth

Hot meals, clear discipline, a caring environment, and happy children have made Tsaghkahovit community kindergarten in Aragatsotn province an irresistible choice for 4-year-old Artur. A few years back, however, the kindergarten wasn't as appealing, with low enrollment and attendance rates as parents preferred to keep their children at home.

Thanks to the generous support of John Mirak Foundation and Harold and Josephine Gulamerian Foundation, FAR has revolutionized its vision with the 'nutrition for growth' initiative. In 2021, FAR integrated its Child Health and Nutrition project into kindergartens in Norashen, Tsaghkahovit, Hnaberd, Byurakan, and Kosh within the Aragatsotn province.

By offering free balanced meals and organizing awareness programs focused on children's health and nutrition, we have witnessed a remarkable increase in enrollment rates. In some communities, enrollment has doubled, and in others, it has even tripled, with children aged 2-5 flocking from nearby communities.

“At this age, getting balanced nutrition is crucial. Our goal in kindergarten is to provide at least 75% of a child's daily calories. Regardless of a child's social status or their family's ability to provide the remaining 25% of calories or not, we ensure this basic 75% threshold for their healthy physical and mental development,” explains FAR Health Programs Director Hambardzum Simonyan emphasizing that FAR’s nutrition program not only combats child malnutrition but also enhances public health awareness among parents. "Educated adults, particularly mothers, are more likely to offer the right foods at the right times to their children," he adds.

"Good nutrition is a prerequisite for physical and cognitive development, academic achievement, and a healthy adulthood. My son's behavior at home improved dramatically since he started kindergarten in 2022. His eating habits have transformed, and he now communicates better," beams Meri Sahakyan. She proudly shares how Artur's love for the meatball soup served at kindergarten has inspired healthier eating habits at home. "Thanks to Artur, we've broken our monotonous eating routines and embraced balanced meals at home," she concludes.

To promote nutrition for physical and mental growth among more rural children of Armenia, consider donating to FAR today!

*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, Tsaghkahovit, Hnaberd, Byurakan and Kosh kindergartens in the Aragatsotn Province. The school’s menus now have a variety of nutritious dishes that are served daily to children, and the program also helps to raise awareness among local doctors, teachers and parents on the importance of good nutrition for the region.


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