Jan 21, 2017, updated January 2017
Having developed nutrition expertise over the decades, Nestlé believes that it can contribute to the knowledge of nutrition, using education as a tool to help young children understand the value of nutrition and physical activity.
The Global Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme was borne out of the need to address complex issues plaguing society globally – under-nutrition and obesity, and aims to improve the nutrition, health and wellness of children between 4-16 years through improved diets, physical activity and hygiene.
The initiative has been designed in collaboration with national health authorities, child nutrition experts, and educational foundations, and will be extended to every Nestlé market by the end of 2011, with each market adapting the programme based on its own needs. In more developed markets like the United States of America for instance, obesity is a key challenge while for developing and under-developed countries, under nutrition is a great concern. The solution for both problems is a good nutritional diet and adequate physical activity.
Participants having fun during the cooking activity at the Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme Parent-Child Workshop.
In Malaysia, Nestlé partnered with the Nutrition Society of Malaysia (NSM) to roll-out its Healthy Kids
chapter. Launched in August 2010, the Programme has since reached out to some 2,600 students in five schools across Klang Valley within a three-month period in 2010.
The Healthy Kids
Programme in Malaysia entails the implementation of a two-prong programme, which runs concurrently. Aimed at school children aged between 7-12 years old, parents and teachers, the programme includes an awareness campaign on nutrition and physical activity that is done in an interactive manner; and a longitudinal intervention programme with monitoring to improve knowledge, attitude and practices on nutrition and physical activity.
To measure the impact of the awareness session on the target audience, 30 students from each school visited are selected randomly for a pre- and post-survey on basic nutrition knowledge to gauge whether there is an increase in knowledge after the session. A Body Mass Index (BMI) check was also conducted to assess their nutritional status.
Nestlé believes that it can contribute to the knowledge of nutrition, using education as a tool to help young children understand the value of nutrition and physical activity.
“The Healthy Kids
programme will no doubt be a major contribution to raising the awareness among children, parents and teachers of the importance of nutrition, health and physical activities and we look forward to actively roll-out the activities under this programme,” said Dr. Tee E Siong, President of the Nutrition Society of Malaysia at the launch of the event.
“More notably, the programme includes a research component aimed at developing and determining the effectiveness of appropriate educational materials to facilitate teaching of nutrition to primary school children. We hope that by the end of this, we will have the right approaches and materials for teaching nutrition in primary schools which we can share with the Ministry of Education,” said Dr. Tee.
Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme website contains educational tools and games to educate both parents and children.
Activities for the Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme
in Malaysia include:
- A Parent-Child Workshop for parents and children to discuss and learn about child nutrition and healthy lifestyle with experts.
- The Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme website (www.healthykids.org.my) that contains educational tools and interactive games to educate both parents and children about healthy eating and active lifestyle.
- School roadshows to impart simple healthy eating messages to school children in a fun way.
- A longitudinal intervention study - “Evaluation of Nutrition Education Package for Primary School Children” - to improve knowledge, attitude and practices on nutrition and physical activity among children, parents and teachers which will kick-start early 2011.
- At the conclusion of the 3-year research, the education modules were presented to the Ministry of Education to be utilised by schools in the country, where a partnership with the Ministry was forged.
- As part of the second phase of the Programme, the Train-the-Trainer Workshop was held in August 2014.This phase will run for three years from 2014 to 2016, and will be implemented in 77 day-boarding schools across East Malaysia throughout this period.. The second phase has expanded the programme’s reach to include Food Operators’ Workshop engaging with key stakeholders to influence good dietary intake and food habits amongst school children.
- The ‘Program Cara Hidup Sihat’ (Secondary School Component) was launched in December 2012 in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Universiti Putra Malaysia. Aimed at enhancing the knowledge and practice of healthy and active lifestyles, the three-year intervention programme (2012 – 2014) is targeted at lower secondary school students from 100 day-boarding schools nationwide, their teachers and wardens, as well as the food operators who are responsible for preparing and serving their meals on a daily basis.
The Programme will also offer educational collaterals for children that include comic books, bookmarks and posters; guidebook for parents; and many more.
The Healthy Kids
initiative has been running for several years in countries such as Australia, France, Brazil, Russia, Italy and Hungary, and has reached approximately four million children worldwide. All programmes are designed in collaboration with the health and nutrition professional bodies, national health authorities, child nutrition experts and educational foundations of the respective countries. In South-East Asia, countries such as Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines have also implemented this programme.
Value to Society
Value to Nestlé