Children eating

Key question

Can the intake of legumes be increased using the school meals initiative?

Legumes have formed an important part of the diet in many low- to middle-income countries.  However, as countries become economically more successful intake drops and the land mass given to cultivation of legumes falls. As stated in other working groups, legumes contribute a sustainable protein source and fermentation of the dietary fibre has the potential to effect gastrointestinal integrity and reduce sepsis risk.  An important aspect of this project is to investigate ways legume intake can be encouraged.

The Nigerian National School feeding programme provides a hot, nutritious meal to 9.3 million pupils daily in public primary schools in 26 States through locally sourced foods, which includes a varied food menu containing legumes. In this work package we will, within this programmatic context, undertake research to investigate at this scale:

  1. how to increase the consumption of locally sourced legumes and 
  2. how to improve the understanding of school children and the local community of the importance of including legumes in their diet using the behavioural change communication of the school meal planning system in Nigeria.