Did you know that in the Philippines, 31.2% of kids aged 5 to 10 years old are underweight? And that 8.6% of Filipino children of the same age range are overweight? And that the National Capital Region (NCR) has the highest number of obese and overweight children?
That’s why there is the need to push Nutrition Education especially among younger kids.
“To help reverse the trend in obesity or malnutrition, Nutrition Education should start early,” says Dr. Rodolfo Florentino, adviser for the Nutrition Foundation of the Philippines, Inc. (NFP). “Indeed, school age presents an excellent window of opportunity for teaching children the basics of proper diet, balanced meals, the value of vegetables and fruits, and inculcating in them proper dietary habits and practices, as well as the need for being physically active through play and exercise. They are very receptive to new knowledge taught them by their teachers.”
Dr. Florentino also believes that targeting school children for Nutrition Education is essential because kids are more receptive to what their teachers teach them. As the home becomes the venue for practicing what they are taught, parents now have the supporting role of providing nutritious food and balanced meals at the table.
And this is why the NFP partners with Mondelez Philippines to implement the Good Nutrition Key to Healthy Children module for Mondelez’s Joy Schools Program.
Partnering with Mondelez Philippines for the Joy Schools Program
The Joy Schools is a program of Mondelez International wherein the company encourages young students of its adopted schools to take positive steps towards their overall well-being.
“Through the Joy Schools, we are helping empower communities to lead balanced lifestyles thereby helping address nutrient needs for at-risk populations – all of which also help support the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Since it started in the Philippines in 2013, our Joy Schools program is now implemented by our Company in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam, all following the same program structure. I’m proud to say that this 2018 we have adopted 16 new Joy Schools all over Southeast Asia,” shares Shanahan Chua, Mondelez’s Head of Corporate and Government Affairs.
The Joy Schools program also provides access to fresh food and promotes the importance of active play. In fact, during School Year 2017-2018, from among 400 student beneficiaries of the 9-month lunch feeding program, 88% gained weight while 80% had an increase in height. Also, donations of sports equipment helped promote active play among these children.
This year, Grade 3 pupils from the 3 current adopted schools in Metro Manila will benefit from this program. From July 2018 to March 2019, these children will learn basic nutrition knowledge and good nutrition practices. With the help of NFP, Mondelez wants to encourage children to have good health habits as they grow up.
And at the end of the program, both Mondelēz International and NFP aim to see an extensive improvement of the knowledge, action and practices of the students when it comes to good nutrition.