Nestlé helps children lead healthier lives

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

In a global initiative which aims to help 50 million children by 2030, Nestlé South Africa on Tuesday announced its global Nestlé for Healthier Kids initiative.

In partnership with the Department of Basic Education, the project launched on the United Nations International Day of Families, is geared towards promoting the overall health and wellbeing of the child.

Since its foundation, Nestlé has been committed to helping parents and caregivers provide the right nutrition to their children. Through this initiative, Nestlé South Africa aims to reach over 50% of South African primary school learners by 2020.

In 2017 alone, the company launched more than 1 000 new products to meet the nutritional needs of children.

In the same year, it provided 174 billion servings of fortified foods and beverages in 66 countries in which people lack essential micronutrients such as iron, iodine and vitamin A.

The impact of the initiative will be measured by a nutrition education study undertaken by the Vaal University of Technology to measure the impact of this initiative.

The results of the study are due later this year and will be used to enhance the current Life Skills curriculum.

“We want to help parents make informed and healthier food choices for their children. We are also proud to have partnered with the Department of Basic Education on facilitating nutrition and quality physical education programmes, which are developed and prescribed by government, to children between the ages of six and 12,” said Ravi Pillay, Nestlé South Africa spokesperson.

Over the past decades, Nestlé has improved nutrition across its product range. Driven by its purpose to enhance quality of life and contribute to a healthier future, Nestlé has pledged to accelerate this work and by 2020 the company will amongst others:  

  • Reduce added sugars by 5%. Since 2000, the company has reduced sugars by over 34%; 
  • Reduce salt by 10%. Since 2005, the company has reduced salt by over 17 200 tons; 
  • Complete the commitment taken in 2014, to reduce saturated fats by 10% in all relevant products that do not meet WHO recommendations.  

The department, through its National Schools Nutrition Programme (NSNP), aims to enhance the learning capacity of students through the provision of healthy meals at schools.

Where it is implemented, the programme has been shown to improve punctuality, regular school attendance, concentration as well as the general wellbeing of learners.

“The NSNP aims to address risk factors related to malnutrition and under-nourishment in our learners. The programme also addresses issues of access to food and food security.

“Our partnership with Nestlé for Healthier Kids is a platform that can enhance this programme even further through nutrition and quality physical education," said Neo Rakwena, Director: NSNP in the DBE. –