KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Alando Terrelonge, is calling on parents to make sure their children eat healthy foods.
Terrelonge pointed out that there are certain foods that must be avoided at all cost, because they are “killing our children slowly”,
Addressing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signing ceremony between the ministry and Nestlé Jamaica Limited for extension of the company’s health and wellness programme in schools, at the Gregory Park Primary School in St Catherine on Thursday, he noted that sodas and some baked products “are bad for you, and have no nutrients at all”.
The state minister emphasised that children must get the best education, and unhealthy foods affect their growth.
“If we want our children to get the best education, to live best lives, we have to focus on their health,” he said, adding that many young children are suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure, due partly to unhealthy consumption.
The agreement with Nestlé seeks to promote nutrition, health and wellness among school-aged children, and to encourage employability skills among young adults.
The MOU will be executed through two main programmes – Nestlé for Healthier Kids, and the Nestlé Youth Employment Initiative.
Under the programme, which now incorporates 15 schools and is expected to have 15,000 students participating by the end of the year, children will benefit from Wellness and Wheels class visits and International Chef Days; there will be Nutrition Education Training for Teachers, and the establishment of school gardens.
Meanwhile, Principal of the Gregory Park Primary School, Richard Williams, said he is pleased that the students will be exposed to “appropriate” information and techniques to guide them in making the right choices.
“We believe that our duty is to create an enabling environment for the overall development of our children, ensuring that they practise wholesome living and healthy lifestyles,” the principal said.
For his part, Managing Director of Nestlé Jamaica, Daniel Caron, said the programme is about enhancing the quality of life for families and individuals, and to showcase the importance of healthy diets and healthy choices.
“A healthy mind comes from a healthy body, and we are making a difference. This is part of our giving back, being responsible in our communities,” Caron said.
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