With the belief that most Vietnamese children have breakfast, but without sufficient nutrients, FrieslandCampina Vietnam has cooperated with the Ministry of Education and Training to offer nutritional solutions to improve children’s breakfasts at a symposium on April 26, which drew the participation of many leading experts.
|The symposium discussed solutions to improve children's nutrition |
A lack of micronutrients
Last year, FrieslandCampina launched the results of its SEANUTS II study, showing that 90 per cent of Vietnamese children have their own breakfast but more than half lack the necessary micronutrients for physical and mental development, including protein, vitamin D, and calcium.
Experts at the symposium emphasised breakfast's vital role, as it provides 15-25 per cent of the body’s energy in a day. In addition, breakfast also helps maintain reasonable weight, protects the stomach and digestive system, enhances brain activity and immunity, and reduces the risk of chronic diseases.
Because the brain consumes nearly 20 per cent of the body's energy every day, children may get tired, lethargic, and find it difficult to absorb lessons if they do not receive the required nutrients.
Therefore, adding enough micronutrients at breakfast time is something parents need to focus on. In fact, a popular breakfast for Vietnamese children is just a pack of sticky glutinous rice, bread, and some cakes which contain a lot of starch. This quickly fills the stomach, but may not provide enough nutrients. Many parents do not fully understand the importance of breakfast or are too busy at that time of day.
|Dr. Nguyen Thu Ha, a researcher from the Department of Micronutrients under the National Institute of Nutrition, giving a presentation at the symposium |
Dr. Nguyen Thu Ha, a researcher from the Department of Micronutrients under the National Institute of Nutrition said, "The breakfast menu needs to provide adequate macronutrients and micronutrients at the right ratio for the child. The ratio of nutrients at breakfast should comprise 15 per cent protein, 25 per cent fat, 55 per cent starch, 30 grams of fibre, and all the necessary vitamins and minerals. Depending on conditions, parents can choose suitable foods to make breakfast for their children."
Supplementing milk for children’s breakfast
In order for the child not to have an energy deficiency, the mother should add fresh milk to the child's morning menu, along with the aforementioned nutrients.
“Children’s breakfast needs to have all four essential groups of substances including fruit, vegetables, protein, milk, and cereals. In particular, the milk group, with high calcium content, is easily absorbed and full of protein, fat, sugar, vitamins, and minerals to help the body stay healthy,” Ha said.
Many scientific studies have shown that breakfast is considered the best time of the day for the body to fully absorb the nutrients in milk. Not only rich in protein, fresh milk also has a group of nutrients such as fat, vitamins, and minerals, and contains high levels of calcium and balanced phosphorus. On average, 180ml of fresh milk provides about 200mg of calcium, meeting 20-30 per cent of the daily calcium requirement for children.
However, the SEANUTS II study indicated that up to 40 per cent of Vietnamese children drink less than four small servings of milk per week, which is lower than the recommendation for children aged 1-3 years, who need to drink 400-500ml of milk per day – equivalent to 2-3 cartons per day.
A nutritious breakfast is more important than a full breakfast. Therefore, to supplement micronutrients into the body, parents should add one box of milk to their child's breakfast, and one box to the bag for the child to drink during break.
Dutch Lady and solutions for children’s breakfast
|Senior business director Ta Thuy Ha at FrieslandCampina Vietnam shared an innovative nutritional improvement for Vietnamese children |
Managed by FrieslandCampina, one of the world’s largest dairy cooperatives with more than 150 years of experience, the Dutch Lady brand understands the important role of daily nutrition for children. It constantly creates and optimises the recipe in each box of fresh milk so that it has the required nutritional value
To accompany the development of Vietnam, Dutch Lady continues to make an important mark by cooperating with the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) to launch a 5-year strategic project named For Vietnam to leap forward and reach higher.
This project embraces various activities such as nutritional education for students so that they have a correct understanding of the importance of essential nutrients for them, especially the need to drink milk every day. The drive has also installed playgrounds to encourage children to be more active.
In 2023, Dutch Lady and the MoET launched electronic lesson plans at schools across the country. This timely initiative creates a stronger nutritional foundation for Vietnamese children, with solutions to integrate technology into education. The scheme implements two-way interaction on a digital platform with diverse, vivid, and flexible content to help elementary school students from 6-10 years old access knowledge anytime and anywhere.
|Dutch Lady accompanies the Ministry of Education and Training to distribute electronic nutritional lesson plans to schools throughout Vietnam |
Trinh Hoai Thu, deputy director of the Department of Primary Education under the MoET, highly appreciated the electronic lesson plan initiative from the Dutch Lady brand.
“The electronic lesson plans prove the close and comprehensive cooperation of Dutch Lady and the leading educational experts at the MoET. When introduced into formal teaching, more than 1.5 million children will have access to this new form of learning. From there, students’ awareness will be raised, and they will be fully equipped with knowledge about nutrition. They will be able to form a nutritional habit of drinking milk in the morning, helping the future generations of Vietnam to live more healthily,” Thu said.
Ha said, “Dutch Lady will always pursue the goal of bringing better nutrition through the improvement of children’s breakfasts, while also fostering knowledge and enhancing nutritional education for students from an early age.”
“With ongoing programmes, Dutch Lady is further strengthening its long-term and sustainable commitment to supporting the Vietnamese government and the community to improve nutrition for generations of Vietnamese people, contributing to the development strategy of For Vietnam to leap forward and reach higher,” Ha continued.
| ||FrieslandCampina Vietnam pursues sustainable development |
Dutch-backed FrieslandCampina is pursuing sustainable development as one of its key drivers to success in Vietnam.
| ||FrieslandCampina Vietnam to cut down environmental impact |
FrieslandCampina Vietnam is set to reduce CO2 emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 in all production and supply activities, along with 33 per cent from partnered dairy cow farms.
| ||FrieslandCampina Vietnam listed as business with sustainable development |
FrieslandCampina Vietnam, which possesses famous brand names Dutch Lady, Friso, Yomost, and Fristi has won a titled “Sustainable Business” in 2022, standing in the top 10 enterprises in Vietnam with this accolade.