Nestlé Pakistan marked doubling the number of children it has imparted nutrition education to in two years by celebrating the Annual Nestlé Healthy Kids (NHK) Day.
The State Minister of Health Sciences Regulation and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarrar was the chief guest.
The NHK programme is a global initiative by Nestlé to introduce healthy lifestyle lessons to children from 6 to 16 years of age. The curriculum-based programme, which is completely non-branded, covers topics of healthy eating, nutrition, hygiene and physical activity.
The program has reached out to more than 100,000 children in Pakistan and trained 427 teachers since its launch in 2010. Nestlé Pakistan is collaborating with 10 partners in Punjab, the Federal Capital, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh.
The chief guest, Saira Afzal Tarrar, congratulated Nestlé on the successful initiative and said this was an “excellent example of how multiple stakeholders can help in addressing malnutrition. She termed malnutrition the “biggest challenge” that the children of Pakistan face. “The government remains committed to addressing this problem. The Nestlé Healthy Kids Program is an excellent example of the role the food industry can play in helping the government address this issue.”
Commenting on the success of the Nestlé Healthy Kids Program, Nestlé Pakistan’s Managing Director, Bruno Olierhoek said: “I am glad to see the NHK Program grow because nutrition is one of the most-impressing issues for our country right now. Two years ago when we celebrated NHK Day, we wanted to double our outreach and make the program national and here we are now, celebrating doing just that. As nutrition experts, we will continue to play our part in tackling malnutrition by educating children about healthy lifestyles.”
The Day’s activities included tableaus by students from partner schools, an art exhibition, quiz and speech competitions. All activities showcased the children’s knowledge about nutrition, healthy eating and an active lifestyle.
The Director General of Federal Directorate of Education Dr Shahnaz Riaz said “Our partnership with Nestlé Pakistan is symbolic of the commitment we both share of improving the health status of our children. We look forward to a continued partnership with Nestlé and reaching out to more children.”
The Nestlé Healthy Kids Program is part of Nestlé’s global commitment of ensuring that children understand the value of nutrition and physical activity and continue leading healthy lives as they grow older. So far, the Program has reached out to approximately 8 million children in 80 countries. In Pakistan, the Program has reached out to more than 100,000 children in the rural, suburban and urban areas of the country, having trained more than 400 teachers (of both primary and secondary schools) as nutrition master trainers.
The partners are: Federal Directorate of Education, Silver Oaks, Rawalpindi, Punjab Education Foundation, Punjab Workers Welfare Board Schools, Supreme Education School, Lahore; Trust for Education and Development of Deserving Students, Lahore; Care Foundation, The Educators Police Public School, Sargodha; Peshawar Model School (Project of City University, Peshawar); Oxford University Press (Content Development Partner)
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