Nestlé pledges to make millions of Vietnamese children healthier

November 18, 2019 | 20:48
With strong commitments and impactful activities, Nestlé for Healthier Kids aims to improve the nutritional status and physical stature of Vietnamese children.
nestle pledges to make millions of vietnamese children healthier
Pupils of five primary schools in Hung Yen in a contest on nutritional status and physical stature held by Nestlé and the local government

To kick off Nestlé for Healthier Kids in the 2019-2020 school year, a special programme for primary students to improve nutrition knowledge and strengthen physical activity was held on November 16 at Tong Phan Primary School, Hung Yen province, attracting more than 300 students from five primary schools in the province. The programme featured a range of exciting activities, including learning about adequate nutrition and enhancing physical activity, aside from the exhibition of posters promoting reasonable nutrition and healthy lifestyle.

On the same day, participants had a chance to visit computer labs where teachers and students could join nutrition classes comprising of interesting lectures, up-to-date information, and playful games.

Attendees could also have a look at the nutritional vegetable garden model – an initiative piloted at Tong Phan Primary School with the support of Vietnam Agriculture Academy that enables teachers and students to proactively access nutrition information through the cultivation and harvest of clean, highly nutritious food products.

nestle pledges to make millions of vietnamese children healthier
Pupils in Hung Yen's schools playing together

As part of the worldwide initiative by Nestlé, Nestlé for Healthier Kids was first launched in Vietnam in 2012 by the National Institute of Nutrition under the Ministry of Health (MoH). The geographical coverage of the programme was extended across the nation in 2017 through a co-operation with the Department of Primary Education of the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) and the MoH's Department of Preventive Medicine.

After seven years of implementation, by October 2019, the programme has reached more than 30,000 students from 61 primary schools in nine localities across the country and is set to continue in upcoming years to achieve Nestlé’s ambition of helping 50 million children lead healthier lives.

nestle pledges to make millions of vietnamese children healthier
Truong Dinh Bac and Ta Ngoc Tri visiting the computer room of Tong Phan school

Ta Ngoc Tri, deputy director of the Primary Education Department, shared at the event, “Nestlé for Healthier Kids has been helping elementary students learn about proper nutrition and identify healthy daily foods. Applying this knowledge, the children will have a sense of taking care of themselves and their families and will be able to lead happier and healthier lives.”

The current lack of good nutritional knowledge and practices, limited physical exercise among students, and the rising incidence of obesity and diabetes in school-age children makes it critical to implement measures promoting healthy nutrition and lifestyles.

nestle pledges to make millions of vietnamese children healthier
Pupils in Hung Yen planting vegetables in the school garden

"Therefore, the introduction of a model that promotes good nutrition education and physical activity among children is obviously essential and beneficial – and the fact that it comes with an informative, easy-to-use yet comprehensive website is a great boon. This enables students, teachers, and school health staff to access the necessary information on nutrition and physical activity easily and conveniently using advanced technology, helping to encourage behavioural changes that bring about more health benefits to students,” said Truong Dinh Bac, deputy head of the Department of Preventive Medicine.

“After one year of participation in Nestlé for Healthier Kids, we noticed positive changes in the perception of health and nutrition among children, which are reflected through knowledge tests. The programme’s website provides teachers with useful information, well-designed curriculum, and an open forum where everyone can discuss and share relevant knowledge. We consider this a meaningful programme for not only children but also the community and society,” said Bui Dinh Son, headmaster of Tong Phan Primary School.

nestle pledges to make millions of vietnamese children healthier
Nestlé for Healthier Kids pledges to help millions of Vietnamese children lead healthier lives

“Through practical initiatives that are implemented across the globe, including Vietnam, Nestlé for Healthier Kids has been supporting teachers, students, and caregivers by helping them access the necessary nutritional knowledge and physical activities so that millions of Vietnamese children will lead healthier lives,” said Nguyen Ngoc Yen, head of Nestlé in the northern region.

By Nguyen Huong

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