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Nestlé helps children lead healthier lives

 In a glob­al ini­tia­tive which aims to help 50 mil­lion chil­dren by 2030, Nestlé South Africa on Tues­day announced its glob­al Nestlé for Health­i­er Kids ini­tia­tive. 

In part­ner­ship with the Depart­ment of Basic Edu­ca­tion, the project launched on the Unit­ed Nations Inter­na­tion­al Day of Fam­i­lies, is geared towards pro­mot­ing the over­all health and well­be­ing of the child.

Since its foun­da­tion, Nestlé has been com­mit­ted to help­ing par­ents and care­givers pro­vide the right nutri­tion to their chil­dren. Through this ini­tia­tive, Nestlé South Africa aims to reach over 50% of South African pri­ma­ry school learn­ers by 2020.

In 2017 alone, the com­pa­ny launched more than 1 000 new prod­ucts to meet the nutri­tion­al needs of chil­dren.

In the same year, it pro­vid­ed 174 bil­lion serv­ings of for­ti­fied foods and bev­er­ages in 66 coun­tries in which peo­ple lack essen­tial micronu­tri­ents such as iron, iodine and vit­a­min A.

The impact of the ini­tia­tive will be mea­sured by a nutri­tion edu­ca­tion study under­tak­en by the Vaal Uni­ver­si­ty of Tech­nol­o­gy to mea­sure the impact of this ini­tia­tive.

The results of the study are due lat­er this year and will be used to enhance the cur­rent Life Skills cur­ricu­lum.

“We want to help par­ents make informed and health­i­er food choic­es for their chil­dren. We are also proud to have part­nered with the Depart­ment of Basic Edu­ca­tion on facil­i­tat­ing nutri­tion and qual­i­ty phys­i­cal edu­ca­tion pro­grammes, which are devel­oped and pre­scribed by gov­ern­ment, to chil­dren between the ages of six and 12,” said Ravi Pil­lay, Nestlé South Africa spokesper­son.

Over the past decades, Nestlé has improved nutri­tion across its prod­uct range. Dri­ven by its pur­pose to enhance qual­i­ty of life and con­tribute to a health­i­er future, Nestlé has pledged to accel­er­ate this work and by 2020 the com­pa­ny will amongst oth­ers:

  • Reduce added sug­ars by 5%. Since 2000, the com­pa­ny has reduced sug­ars by over 34%;
  • Reduce salt by 10%. Since 2005, the com­pa­ny has reduced salt by over 17 200 tons;
  • Com­plete the com­mit­ment tak­en in 2014, to reduce sat­u­rat­ed fats by 10% in all rel­e­vant prod­ucts that do not meet WHO rec­om­men­da­tions.

The depart­ment, through its Nation­al Schools Nutri­tion Pro­gramme (NSNP), aims to enhance the learn­ing capac­i­ty of stu­dents through the pro­vi­sion of healthy meals at schools.

Where it is imple­ment­ed, the pro­gramme has been shown to improve punc­tu­al­i­ty, reg­u­lar school atten­dance, con­cen­tra­tion as well as the gen­er­al well­be­ing of learn­ers.

“The NSNP aims to address risk fac­tors relat­ed to mal­nu­tri­tion and under-nour­ish­ment in our learn­ers. The pro­gramme also address­es issues of access to food and food secu­ri­ty.

“Our part­ner­ship with Nestlé for Health­i­er Kids is a plat­form that can enhance this pro­gramme even fur­ther through nutri­tion and qual­i­ty phys­i­cal edu­ca­tion,” said Neo Rak­we­na, Direc­tor: NSNP in the DBE. – SAnews.gov.za

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