Education is one of the foundations for a better life in the future. Malnourished kids however are unable to focus on their studies, which affects their chances for a better life ahead.
Nestle Wellness Campus aims to bring the importance of a healthier life directly to the students and the community. A project organized by Nestle Philippines and the Department of Education, the program aims to teach public school students the importance of choosing healthier food and drinks, as well as engaging in physical activities and family-together mealtimes.
Today, the program reaches over 8 million students, some 5 million parents, and 200,000 teachers in more than 12,000 public schools across the country. Representatives of Nestle Philippines led by Mr. Kais Marzouki, chairman and CEO, and Atty. Ernesto S. Mascenon, SVP and head of Corporate Affairs recently visited Pinagbuhatan Elementary School in Pasig City to see the program in action.
During the visit, students of the school performed a dancercise to get the blood pumping in the morning. Teachers also showcased different wellness booths that tackled the different aspects of a healthy life. One booth talked about dengue prevention, while another discussed portion size and the PinggangPinoy guide to a healthy meal.
The Wellness Campus is implemented in schools via different modules that are taught to students and parents for 1 hour a week. These modules include the Choose Nutritious and Varied Options, which talked about Go, Grow, and Glow Food; Managing Portion; Play Actively; Choose to Drink Water; and Enjoy Meals Together.
Apart from nutrition education for students, nutrition modules for parents are also shared to ensure that what is being taught to children is applied at home. These modules focus on how to address picky eaters, increase fruit and vegetable intake of children, and manage grocery budget.
The program also encourages schools to create other initiatives beyond the original modules, a task that Pinagbuhatan Elementary School officials took to enthusiastically. The school has now implemented several health-focused initiatives such as No-Preservative days where student lunches have to be freshly-cooked meals and not canned food; Shake Shake Fridays where students enjoy fruit shakes; and other events throughout the week.
This has resulted in a significant increase in the quality of health of students. In 2018, feeding beneficiaries in Pinagbuhatan Elementary School numbered 697 students but this year, the number of wasted or severely wasted students has dropped to 297 students.