· One in 5 South African children skip breakfast
· Less than half of children consume the daily recommended intake of vegetables and fruit
· Children’s intake of key vitamins and minerals is below 67% of recommendations
· 1.2 million Grade 1 learners started their school journey today and good nutrition will play a key role in their future achievements
Starting Grade 1, while exciting, is also dauting and emotional for parents and children alike. It is fuelled with pride, excitement and the overwhelming feeling that the road to success has begun.
South African parents are acutely aware that education is a global equaliser and a healthy eating plan is of paramount importance. Taking in the correct amounts of vitamins and minerals builds bone strength, promotes physical fitness, gives energy for optimal concentrate and of great importance, helps brain development.
The 2020 Day One by Danone launch got off to a great start today at Actonville Primary School in Boksburg, Gauteng, with the aim of creating awareness around good nutrition and tackle the alarming nutritional inadequacies that came to light in the recent HAKSA report, the ‘Healthy Active Kids in South Africa’.
“The Day One campaign is educational and empowers parents and children with tangible advice which can improve a child’s nutrition and wellbeing,” said Leanne Keizer, Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Manager, Danone Southern Africa. “There are five simple messages we are aiming to entrench; eat breakfast every day; eat more fruit and vegetables; have milk, maas or yoghurt every day; drink more water; exercise. Our 2020 campaign is of particular importance as it fits into our global One Planet One Health vision, which reflects our belief that the health of people and that of the planet are interlinked and both need to be protected and nurtured.”
“Through the Day One campaign we will be emphasising nutrition habits that can help address our children’s deficiencies. Health happens every day and it is important to make the right choices. Evidence shows that prioritizing children’s nutrition can enhance their health, development and school performance and there is no better way to start this than their first day of school, hence we are targeting the Grade 1 learners. It is an unfortunate fact that we only recognise the symptoms of bad eating when it is too late,” said Keizer.
Healthy snacks are very important in keeping healthy, explained Keizer. “Our NutriDay yoghurts have been made with carefully selected added nutrients known to be lacking in the diets of South African children (Vitamins A, B, D, E) and is the only yoghurt in South Africa with a source of Zinc, essential in building a healthy immune system, growth and cognitive development. Adding these, fuel a child’s potential to thrive. We cannot stress the importance of drinking water, eating vegetables and fruit and including milk, yoghurt or mass in a child’s diet.”
To ensure continuity, Danone will be constantly loading nutritional tips, advice and recipe’s onto the Danone website, www.danone.co.za to assist parents and caregivers to make the right choices for healthy meals and what to include in their children’s school lunchboxes.
The 200 young 6 and 7 year olds that started Grade 1 at Actonville Primary School enjoyed activities centred around nutrition and taking care of the planet through recycling. While the learners participated in fun activities, parents, who play a vital role in a child’s health, received helpful advice on simple and inexpensive ways to bring up a healthy child.
Recycling and water conservation are important, concluded Keizer. “The Actonville learners were each given a recycled 1kg NutriDay yoghurt tub to plant vegetables, which they will nurture and grow throughout the year. Danone has further provided a JOJO tank to gather rainwater to use to irrigate the food garden. This is all in line with our One Planet. One Health vision.”
INFO SUPPLIED BY INTUNE COMMUNICATIONS.