Jan 13, 2014, updated January 2014
In 2009, Nestlé launched a programme called Niños Saludables in Paraguay to raise the awareness of nutrition, health and wellness to school children.
According to the Pan American Health Organization , it is estimated that the percentage of children under the age of five who suffer from mild malnutrition, or are at risk of being undernourished, is over a fifth. Worryingly, about one in ten children in the same age category suffer from chronic malnutrition.
Obesity is also a problem in Paraguay, as over a fifth of women over the age of 20 are obese, according to the World Health Organization. In the same age bracket, the number of men who are suffering from obesity is closing in at over 16%.
In 2001, a partnership was formed between Nestlé Paraguay and a NGO Tierranuestra Foundation to focus on addressing these health problems in the country.
Eight years later, Nestlé adapted its programme to launch Niños Saludables.
Aimed at youngsters aged six to ten years old, the programme is focusing on nutrition education and physical activity, with an emphasis on getting children outdoors.
As part of the programme, Nestlé is supporting the Ministry of Education’s efforts to boost healthy eating and encourage more physical activity.
Nutrition education tools such as banners, letters and notes were developed for children, parents and teachers, which have been approved by the government body.
Nestlé is continuing to support the efforts of Tierranuestra Foundation in its focus on sustainable social responsibility projects.
With an emphasis on keeping learning fun, they developed games on nutrition for rural schools to encourage the children to play and help them to understand the importance of a balanced diet and more exercise.
Learning sessions include a workshop with teachers who are also monitoring the development of the programme.
Value to Society
In 2012, the nutrition education part of Niños Saludables reached 243 children, five schools, 25 parents, and 19 teachers. Since 2001, it has impacted on 14,898 children and 269 schools.
On the physical education side, the programme has made an impact on the same number of children, schools and teachers.
Parents and teachers have noted an improved change in the children’s knowledge, attitudes and behaviour to healthy eating and increased physical exercise.
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 aims to boost Niños Saludables by working with the Ministry of Health.
The company also seeks to involve more parents and encourage employees to volunteer their free time to the programme.