/ 3 September 2021

MALNUTRITION remains a big problem for Filipino school children.

A report from the National Food and Nutrition Research Institute revealed that 1 out of 4 or 26 percent of school children are underweight.

A survey last year also revealed that 6 out of 10 households in the country experience food insecurity.

This is the reason why Nestlé teamed up with the Department of Education to ensure that children’s health, nutrition and wellness are being taken care of specially during the pandemic.

“This is because we all know that an unhealthy child cannot learn as much as one who is healthy, well-fed, and given nutritionally sufficient assistance, especially for those who cannot afford the expense of maintaining healthy children,” Education Secretary Leonor Briones said during a memorandum of agreement signing last January 2021.

Nestlé, through its Nestlé Wellness Campus program, ensures that children get the proper nutrition they need.

Established in 2013, the program began with the goal of raising awareness and providing educational materials to pursue wellness daily. Over the years, NWC grew and was embraced by different DepEd regions.

The program started at only 250 high schools with a total of 650,000 students in the National Capital Region during its first year. Now, NWC has grown to inspire more than 7 million students from Grades 1 to 10 in 13,000 schools to live healthier lives.

For SY 2021-2022, Nestlé hopes to reach more than 10 million students in 7 regions.

One of the activities under the NWC is a dance program after every flag ceremony to promote an active lifestyle. Nutritionist-dietitians also gave talks about balanced and healthy food choices to address the nutrition gaps and encourage healthier eating habits.

The dance program evolved into an inter-school and inter-region competition to recognize the best schools that have implemented the program in their community.

During the pandemic, Nestlé remains committed to promoting nutrition, health and wellness by providing digital tools such as nutrition and sustainability modules, and wellness song and dance videos to educate students, teachers and parents on the seven healthy habits they can apply at home.

Nestlé also recognized teachers who went the extra mile to sustain and reinforce healthy habits and create innovative learning experiences for children.

The company launched an exclusive NWC Facebook Group to strengthen its advocacy online. The group now has more than 47,000 teacher-members who learn and share best wellness practices in their schools.

A Facebook group exclusive for parents is also underway to provide them access to wellness content for their children and the entire family.

“Nestlé Philippines, as a Kasambuhay sa Kalusugan, is actively engaged in supporting Filipino families to achieve a healthier and active lifestyle, especially in the face of the pandemic,” Kais Marzouki, Nestlé Philippines chairman and CEO, said.