Ministry of Education Services, Nestlé partner to promote healthier lifestyles amongst children in S

Wednesday, 9 October 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Ministry of Education Services and Nestlé Lanka PLC has announced the incorporation of the Nestlé Healthy Kids Program into the Government’s island wide “Poshanayai Suwadiviyai” (Nutrition for a Healthy Life) nutrition awareness campaign. The Nestlé Healthy Kids Program material and modules on nutrition education and healthy living will now be made available at over 7,500 secondary public schools across the country.    The Nestlé Healthy Kids Program is a global initiative by Nestlé to raise awareness of the importance of good nutrition and an active lifestyle among school-age children around the world. This is in line with the company’s Creating Shared Value strategy and its objective to be the trusted leader in Nutrition, Health and Wellness. In Sri Lanka, the program is based on a multi-partnership approach. Launched in 2010, Nestlé Healthy Kids was developed in collaboration with national education authorities, the Ministry of Education Services and the country’s premier higher education institution, the University of Peradeniya. A modern and proficient nutrition awareness program, Nestlé Healthy Kids consists of six comprehensive, activity based modules on nutrition and healthy living. The program is taught in schools as an extra-curricular subject by Ministry educationists. Focusing primarily on school-age children in rural areas, the program is rolled out to different schools each year, aiming to reach a minimum of 2,000 children per annum. As at end 2012 it has reached close to 6,000 children across 34 schools.  “We believe that awareness and education are powerful tools to ensure that children understand the value of nutrition and physical activity to their health throughout the course of their lives. Forming an integral part of our commitment to help improve Sri Lankan nutrition, the Nestlé Healthy Kids Program aims to improve the knowledge, attitude and behaviour of school-age children by educating them about nutrition and healthy lifestyles. Nestlé Healthy Kids has made significant progress since its launch in 2010 and we’re truly humbled that the program has been recognised and officially incorporated as part of the Government’s nutrition education campaign. We‘re honoured that we are able to, even in a small way, contribute towards the future of Sri Lanka as a healthy nation geared for growth and development” said Nestlé Lanka PLC Managing Director Ganesan Ampalavanar. “Nutrition understanding and a healthy lifestyle are vital elements in battling the double burden of malnutrition; that is, over-nutrition (obesity and overweight) and under-nutrition. In developing countries like Sri Lanka, this double burden is especially prevalent among children. Dealing with this issue to help prevent non-communicable diseases requires extensive nutrition education involving the cooperation of many parties including academia, consumers, the food and beverage industry and national authorities. We have worked alongside Nestlé for some years now with the Healthy Kids Programme and are very pleased to include the program in our vital “Poshanayai Suwadiviyai” nutrition awareness campaign,” said Minister of Education Services Duminda Dissanayake. The Government’s “Poshanayai Suwadiviyai” (Nutrition for a Healthy Life) nutrition awareness campaign focuses on helping children develop the skills they need to understand nutrition. The program also provides over one million Sri Lankan school children with a glass of fresh milk and a nutritious meal every day.