Today, more than 40 million children aged under five are considered overweight or obese (WHO), and almost 155 million children are stunted due to under-nutrition (UNICEF). This calls for action. At Nestlé, we believe that by helping new generations eat and drink better and exercise more, we will enhance quality of life and contribute to a healthier future.
We have created Nestlé for Healthier Kids to combine all our efforts that support parents and caregivers in raising healthier children – from leading research and product formulation to education and innovative nutrition and lifestyle services.
Over 14.4 million children have already been reached by our Nestlé for Healthier Kids programmes. To continually improve, we measure the initiative’s impact based on six healthier habits: Feed your baby like a baby; Eat nutritious and varied options; Choose water; Manage portions; Play and be active; and Enjoy meals together. And by 2030, we aim to support 50 million children to live healthier lives.
Adopting good nutrition practices from an early age is essential to become a healthy adult. However, establishing healthy eating, drinking and lifestyle habits is not always easy or intuitive for parents and caregivers.
Nestlé’s Start Healthy Stay Healthy initiative provides science-based nutrition services including a worldwide education programme for parents and caregivers, promoting healthy nutrition and correct feeding practices in the first 1000 days of life. In line with the WHO’s recommendation, our programme promotes exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of life, followed by the introduction of nutritious foods that complement sustained breastfeeding for up to two years and beyond.
For school-age children and adolescents, our efforts empower schools to teach about the importance of balancing good nutrition and healthy hydration with an active lifestyle. Schools can tailor programmes to the needs of their communities. Start Healthy Stay Healthy also provides parents with educational tools, simple advice and behaviour change solutions to inspire and enable change at home.
Promoting good nutrition through our brands
Part of our initiative involves using our brands to positively impact children’s health. We have made forward-looking commitments to reduce salt, sugars and saturated fats, and increasingly to add familiar and healthy ingredients to our foods and beverages.
We also ensure our brands leverage their communication power to support and inspire parents to raise healthier children. We do this by promoting balanced nutrition, healthy cooking, daily sport and healthy hydration. We also provide recipes for balanced breakfasts, portion guidance and simple lifestyle tips.
A robust policy
Our communication is supported by an industry-leading Policy on Marketing Communication to Children (pdf, 5.7Mb). All communication to children follows responsible marketing principles and is limited to foods and beverages meeting specific nutritional profiles.
Understanding children’s nutritional gaps
Our initiative is underpinned by evidence-based findings conducted by our leading research and development (R&D) network. For example, our Nestlé Research Center is studying nutrition for expectant mothers, infants during the first 1000 days, and growing children, to promote optimal development for long-term health and wellness.
Our two main studies are:
- Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS): This deepens our understanding of the eating patterns and nutritional intake of infants and toddlers from birth to age four.
- Kids Nutrition and Health Study (KNHS): This focuses on the eating and lifestyle habits of children aged 4–12, when many behaviours that influence health later in life are established.
We share our findings with others, and work with partners to explore ways to support healthier lifestyles and contribute to fact-based conversations about health and food policies.