KENYA – In line with its purpose of enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future, food giant Nestlé has marked 10 years since the launch of its Nestlé for Healthier Kids Programme in Kenya.

The initiative launched in June 2012 in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Agriculture, aims to help children lead healthier lives.

It has been motivated by four core objectives which encourages kids to eat more fruits and vegetables, eat well-managed portions, drink more water, and exercise regularly / move more.

Over the past 10 years, the programme has expanded to over 890 schools, covering 7 counties in Nairobi, Kiambu, Muranga, Embu, Meru, Kirinyaga and Kakamega, reaching over 700,000 pupils and 1500 teachers in participating regions.

“The goal of Nestlé for Healthier Kids in Kenya through its campaigns and initiatives, is to support parents and caregivers to raise healthier kids and to inspire the children themselves to get involved in preparation of meals and learn the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

“We make things fun by using storytelling techniques and involve their teachers as direct partners with us to educate them on the importance of having a balanced diet,” said Mr. Ng’entu Njeru, Cluster Head, East and Horn of Africa, Nestlé ESAR.

Other core activities that take place within the Nestlé for Healthier Kids Programme is the construction of the vegetable gardens.

The children are taught how to create and build a kitchen garden in school by the Nestlé for Healthier Kids instructors and are also given tips on how to maintain it as well.

The vegetable gardens are a core part of showing the kids a sustainable approach from farm to table which they can replicate at home with their parents.

“The vegetable gardens are a great way for kids to learn how to grow their own food like tomatoes, spinach, and kale.

“We make sure to educate them on the nutritional benefits of each food group and why it is important for them to eat a balanced diet,” added Njeru.

To mark the 10-year anniversary, Nestlé Kenya together with its partners have launched the programme in Kajiado County which will benefit 128 schools in the region.

This is the first time the Nestlé for Healthier Kids Programme has ventured into Kajiado with plans underway to continue expanding to other schools in the county and eventually reach all counties countrywide.

Joshua Mwangi, Deputy Director of Education Policy & Partnerships remarked, “We are happy that Nestlé has taken this step to bring the Nestlé for Healthier Kids Programme to Kajiado County.

“We are honoured and pleased to be a part of this process where we have partnered with Nestlé to impact our local community with education on healthy eating habits and impart the children with the skills and knowledge on how to grow their own food. This will bring an overall wholistic approach to learning for our children.”

The food processor undertook a three-day celebration in marking the decade long of service under the theme ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ which highlights all the people and stakeholders who have come together from various institutions to make the Nestlé for Healthier Kids Programme a success.

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