Leading functional food brand, Futurelife, has launched a national Educational School Nutritional Programme to run at primary and high schools across the country; and is designed to teach healthy eating habits from a young age to improve children’s health in the long term, as most lifestyle behaviours develop during childhood. A total of 35 schools will be visited in 2017, with a bigger roll out planned for 2018.
TheHigh 5 For Futurelife Schools Nutrition Programmesees Futurelife dieticians visiting schools across the country. For the primary schools, the dieticians are assisted by their super-cute mascot, Clive, who teaches the learners a short sing-a-long with appropriate dance moves that educates them on the five food groups and the importance of good nutrition and healthy eating.
High school learners are encouraged, along with their teachers and sports coaches, to take a Smart Pledge where they take responsibility for their eating habits and commit to not taking banned or harmful sports substances. The dietician’s presentations, for both primary and high schools, includes information and fun activities to help families adopt healthy lifestyle behaviours at home- encouraging them to find the balance between healthy eating and keeping an active lifestyle.
The interactive and informative programme also involves a competition where empty packets of Smart Bread and logos from Futurelife Smart food boxes will be cut out and collected. Per region, the school with the most number of logos and Smart Bread packets collected over two months will receive R20,000 and R2,500 for the learner, which is a substantial incentive to motivate learners to participate. Prize money will be handed over later this year.
‘Nutrition is key to learning, as it provides learners with the fuel to engage in school activities, and thrive. Our primary goal as nutritional educators is to help learners prepare for healthy and productive lives, and nutrition and health education are central to that,’ says Lara De Santana, head dietician for Futurelife.
‘While families may serve healthy meals at home, in the morning breakfasts are often rushed or skipped, and school lunch boxes can be filled with unhealthy food like chips and biscuits. It’s important to ensure your child has access to a varied, balanced diet throughout the day. Not only do junk foods lack vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids vital for optimal development at this age, but they are also often loaded with added sugars and refined carbohydrates, effecting both concentration and energy levels. With a little bit of planning, breakfasts and lunch boxes can be both delicious and healthy,’ says De Santana.
‘Futurelife has a history of ensuring South African children are given their best chance in life. The brand was founded 10 years ago, primarily to feed disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The Futurelife Foundation feeding programme currently serves around 150,000 nutritious meals a month to South African children, the majority of which are distributed to Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres,’saysDe Santana.
‘The roll out of the new Futurelife Schools Nutrition Programme willencourage kids to eat a varied and balanced diet by encouraging them to have a better understanding of nutrition, which will promote better classroom performance, better development, as well as improve self-esteem and interaction with peers. We are excited to literally get the show on the road,’ she concludes.
By Jonny Forsyth on July 24th, 2017