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Nestlé Kenya launches its primary school nutrition programme in Embu County

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Nestlé Kenya has announced the roll out of its nutrition education programme in Embu County as the company intensifies its efforts to help Kenya address malnutrition among school going children.

Nestlé, the global leader in Nutrition Health and Wellness, will be introducing the programme in 50 schools in the county, bringing to over 257 the number of schools in the company’s nutrition program countrywide.

“Our Healthy Kids Programme promotes the well-being of children via nutrition education and encouraging physical activity in schools,” said Ms. Ciru Miring’u, Nestlé Kenya Ltd Managing Director and East African Cluster Manager.

Nestlé Kenya is set to spend Ksh 5 million for the implementation of the program in more than 150 schools countrywide in 2016. The money will go towards providing essential nutrition education material including interactive posters and teaching manuals, helping teachers involve the children in interactive lessons about healthy eating, physical exercise, hygiene and sanitation.

“We want to train more than 160 teachers in this new program. These teachers will in turn train their colleagues and help reach the pupils in the selected schools,” said Ms. Miring’u. “We launched the Healthy Kids Programme globally in 2009 with the aim of raising awareness of the importance of good nutrition and an active lifestyle among school-age children. Since then we’ve seen massive change and a great improvement in the lives of the millions of children we’ve reached.”

At the end of 2015, the Healthy Kids Programme had reached 8.4 million children in 84 countries worldwide.

The nutrition programme is based on research conducted on nutrition and physical activity among children at the lower primary school level. The survey found that an early inclusion of healthy nutrition teaching programmes into primary schools’ curriculum through levels of formal and informal education, can improve knowledge and bring behavioural changes associated with eating habits.

Thanks to the Healthy Kids Programme, feedback from teachers shows that the schools where the programme has been implemented have, since 2012, recorded an enhanced awareness of the importance of good nutrition. School children now crosscheck their break and lunch packs with the Healthy Kids Posters displayed in their classes.

Nestlé Kenya plans to roll it out the program in Kirinyaga and Kakamega by end of 2016. More than 615 teachers have so far been trained in the programme in Nairobi, Kiambu and Gatundu North.