Spotlight on school nutrition

The learners put through the Sports Science Institute of South Africa six-station health track manned by instructors in the quest for maintaining good health.

Duduza – In the week of what would have been Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday, the Woolworths Education Programme celebrated by hosting the Mandela Centenary Event.

Director of the National School Nutrition Programme, Neo Sedidi, says the department is always looking to maximise the facilities in the schools.

“The food handlers are educated about health and hygiene because the learners’ food passes through these hands every year.

“We also need to ensure that the stock they receive compliments the nutrient intake for a growing child.”

More than 1 100 learners, almost 40 educators and staff, as well as six volunteers who operate the school’s feeding programme, participated in an action-packed day that highlighted the benefits and enjoyment of healthy eating and physical exercise.

“The Gauteng Department of Education has done its part in providing the facilities and making sure they are safe.

For example, the gas cylinder is outside the building and it is caged.”

Learners participated in the Woolworths Education Programme class lessons that use engaging interactive activities to teach the basics of healthy nutrition, including the South African Dietary-based Guidelines.

In order to help improve the quality and safety of meals provided to children at school, the focus was on the important balance provided by a variety of foods, healthy fats, understanding food labels, avoiding added sugar and salt, and sharing food safety and hygiene guidelines.

They were also put through the Sports Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA), six-station health track manned by SSISA instructors, who helped the learners to master different techniques.

“Physical activity is crucial to maintaining good health, in conjunction with good nutrition.”

Woolworths Education Programme manager, Thando Tladi, says, “We wanted to help create a day for the learners and their school community that makes a lasting difference.”

“To celebrate Nelson Mandela’s incredible legacy, we aimed to empower and inspire Zakheni Primary to adopt a healthier lifestyle with a focus on good nutrition and regular physical activity.”

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  AUTHOR
Xoliswa Kali
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