Apr 10, 2014, updated April 2014
Nestlé launched the Crecer Bien – or Growing Well – programme in Peru in 2008 to tackle chronic malnutrition and the rising trend in obesity in Peruvian children.
Over three quarters of youngsters under the age of five suffer from chronic malnourishment. On the opposite end of the scale, nearly 10% of children in the same age range are overweight, according to the Estado nutricional en el Perú, the National Health Institute, between 2009-2010.
Anaemia, which can be caused by a lack of iron, is also a severe health problem in the country affecting more than 50% of pre-school children, as highlighted by the World Health Organization.
To help address these health problems, Nestlé’s Crecer Bien programme was targeted at children aged five to eight, with a focus on giving teachers and parents the knowledge and tools to promote better nutrition and hygiene to children.
Teachers are provided with lesson plans and materials that fit in with existing education systems thanks to a cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Education in Peru.
Nestlé is using the Ministry’s national curriculum programme to develop, validate and monitor Crecer Bien.
It has been implemented in the Peruvian regions of Lima, Piura, La libertad, Lambayeque, Ica, Huancavelica – Tayataja, and Chilca – Cañete, which has impacted on more than 330,000 people over the past five years.
The company is also supporting the efforts of the Ministry of Health to boost its priorities in increasing physical activity and healthier lifestyles.
As part of the programme, parents and teachers can download all the programme’s materials from Crecer Bien.
They can also find out more and engage on the initiative through its social media sites on Facebook and Twitter.
In addition, it had a weekly slot on the official Peruvian Government TV channel Canal 7 to boost its messages.
The Peruvian First Lady, Nadine Heredia, has backed the Crecer Bien initiative and encouraged its expansion to national level.
As a result, Nestlé led a group of large food and beverage companies in the country to form the ‘Peru Vive Bien’ association in 2012, with an aim to implement Crecer Bien as a ‘National Crusade for Nutrition’.
The Peruvian First Lady announced the creation of the association and the Crecer Bien programme at the Scaling Up Nutrition meeting in New York, United States, in the same year.
Value to Society
To date, Crecer Bien has reached over half a million children, parents and teachers.
At national level, in the coming years more than one million children will benefit from the programme as part of the ‘National Crusade for Nutrition’.
Value to Nestlé
The programme establishes a global competitive advantage and demonstrates Nestlé’s commitment to address health issues globally; and has a positive impact on Nestlé’s reputation as a leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness company.
Nestlé will continue to lead the ‘Peru Vive Bien’ association, aiming to develop healthy nutrition initiatives and improve the living habits of Peruvian families.
The company also seeks to strengthen the Crecer Bien programme for urban and rural families. In 2014, the initiative will be adapted to native languages such as Quechua to benefit rural and vulnerable populations in extreme poverty.