According to the National Nutrition Survey 2018, Pakistan is in the midst of a nutrition crisis with stunted growth being a major indicator. A focus on the quality of diet and nutrition awareness is extremely essential to prevent stunting, wasting and other forms of malnutrition.
This was the impetus behind the launch of Nestlé for Healthier Kids (N4HK) program in Pakistan in 2010. Nestlé for Healthier Kids is a comprehensive program that empowers parents, teachers, and caregivers to foster healthier eating, drinking, and lifestyle habits among school-age children. N4HK is making a collective effort with its partners to help address and overcome the nutrition challenge to give the children a happier and healthier future.
Nurturing a Healthier Generation
Nutrition is key to ensuring a healthy child’s development. But as always, theory is one thing, practice is another. Encouraging kids to eat more veggies and fruits, ensuring their meals are as nutritious as possible can be a tough challenge for parents and caregivers.
One of the most important things a parent can do is to help their children learn healthy eating habits as healthy habits impact their overall well-being. With N4HK providing basic knowledge on nutrition, mothers such as Fauzia are able to make informed decisions that would benefit their children’s health and nutrition.
"I worry whether they will grow normally to become healthy adults and now that my daughter’s school has partnered with Nestlé for Healthier Kids, she is getting the necessary nutrition awareness and knowledge,"
says Fauzia while sharing her views about the N4HK program in her daughter’s school.
Fauzia’s daughter, Urooj Fatima, a student of Care Foundation, used to complain of fatigue and stress during school hours and she frequently skipped her breakfast before going to school. Nestlé for Healthier Kids program urged Urooj and her peers to switch to healthier habits such as eating breakfast regularly, sleeping an adequate number of hours, and participating in physical activities at school.
Many mothers raise the same issue during the nutrition awareness workshops arranged for mothers and kids. Nutrition experts suggest that by making minor changes in the children’s routine, adopting healthy lifestyle habits, and right nutrition choices, they can feel a major change in their children as multiple studies have also shown that better nutrition is associated with improvements in children’s school performance.
Furthermore, Nestlé for Healthier Kids is a curriculum-based program comprising of two books (in both English and Urdu) which provide basic knowledge on nutrition and encourage physical activity, intake of balanced diet and importance of hydration and hygiene. With the help of these books, she has been able to learn interesting nutrition facts. Through cooking workshops and contests, she has also become more conscious of her family’s wellbeing.
“Through our 10 years of continuous partnership with Nestlé for Healthier Kids Program, we have achieved significant improvement in the nutritional knowledge, attitude, and practice of a healthy lifestyle amongst children at our school through interesting and interactive learning activities,”
says Seema Aziz, Managing Trustee of the Care Foundation.
Empowering Teachers Through Nutrition Trainings
Nestlé for Healthier Kids’ school-dedicated module follows train the trainer model through which the school teachers are empowered with educational tools and behavior change solutions to promote healthy lifestyles in the school environment. The Program is anchored in strong nutritional and behavioral science and aims to encourage the adoption of 6 healthier habits. The Nestlé for Healthier Kids encourages teachers to try new things and interactive learning approaches provide students with some great hands-on opportunities to learn about the importance of good nutrition and physical activity. This in turn influences peers and families to contribute to building a better and healthier society.
Engaging children in healthy activities
The adoption of a healthy lifestyle and making the right food choices from a young age facilitates optimal physical and mental growth. The program establishes foundations for healthier eating by inspiring kids to eat well in a way that is engaging and interactive through various fun learning activities. Activities like cooking workshops and healthy lunch box contests reinforce nutrition knowledge and practice of a healthy lifestyle amongst children.
Through Nestlé for Healthier Kids, kids are engaged with cooking and understanding nutrition basics at a young age. Starting early allows for a foundation to be set for healthier eating, drinking, and lifestyle habits.
Commenting on the recently hosted event, The Healthy Lunch Box Competition on Children’s Day,
Ms. Uzma Adnan, Principal at The Trust School, said,“A healthy lunch keeps kids active, alert and focused as the right nutrition at the right time is essential for children’s health and development. Children learn about nutrition, food and health as they work on preparing their own healthy-packed lunches with the help of their mothers. The objective of such activities is to raise nutrition awareness of kids and of mothers to foster healthier eating, drinking and lifestyle habits among their children.”
Nestlé for Healthier Kids initiative is part of our commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 of Good Health and Well-Being, to ensure that children understand the value of nutrition and physical activity and continue leading healthy lives as they grow older.
In Commitment with