Between 2012 and 2022, the Healthy Traditions Foundation has carried out 10 editions of the “Traista cu sănătate” program. Nestlé Romania, through the Nestlé for Healthier Kids initiative, has been supporting this program since 2017.
The project is carried out in the form of an optional in schools and kindergartens in Iasi County. Over the 10 years of the program, 50,000 children have benefited from education for a healthy lifestyle, of which 8,000 this year. Healthy Traditions Foundation has developed a unique educational package, which includes a book with 8 chapters, with useful information for children and teachers, pictures and educational sheets, 32 weekly lessons, during a school year, suitable for children aged between 5 and 10 years.
According to the WHO European Regional Obesity Report 2022, in Romania 24% of school-age children are overweight, out of which 13% are obese and 55% of adults experience overweight. The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has added risk factors and helped increase the prevalence of childhood obesity by one percent each year of the pandemic. In this context, the Healthy Traditions Foundation organized in Iasi the Conference “Prevention of obesity in childhood”, attended by over 100 teachers, parents, health and education specialists. The conference was conducted under the aegis of the “Grigore T. Popa” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, in collaboration with other institutions from the Republic of Molodva and was attended by a special guest, Mihai Morar. During the event, the educational package Traista cu sănătate revised and added was launched.
Prof. Univ. Dr. Veronica Mocanu, the initiator of the project “Traista cu sănătate” says: “After ten years, we are very happy to see a decrease in childhood obesity in the schools in Iasi, where we carried out the project. Obesity decreased from 10 to 6% in Iasi. Not the same can be said about the countryside, where unfortunately we have noticed an increase in obesity, reaching 12%. Healthy Traditions Foundation has developed a unique educational package, which includes a book with 8 chapters, with useful information for children and didactic staff, pictures and educational sheets, 32 weekly lessons, during a school year, suitable for children aged between 5 and 10 years”.
Healthy Traditions Foundation has noticed in the last 10 years of the program that stress is reflected in the diet of both parents and children, so it tries to teach adults how to manage this stress, because they are role models for the little ones. What they think, their attitude towards food and the responsibility for what they buy is that of the parents, and they can also influence and teach their children what is right and what is wrong to do in their relationship with food. Children tend to eat more cakes when they are stressed at school or to eat in an unorderly manner when they sit late in front of electronic devices, playing.
“I am the advocate of balance in everything and I think we need to develop our children’s own relationship with food. I also believe that the family meal must remain sacred. Dining together, giving them the opportunity to choose and relying on children’s common sense are essential to cultivate children’s emotions about food. Also, school plays a special role because that is where, for the most part, the children’s relationship with society is formed, at school many habits can be learned. Therefore, I am pleasantly surprised that in Romania, in Iasi, we have such effective curricula for the formation of healthy habits and which deserve to be extended at national level, to reach all children and parents”, says Mihai Morar, the special guest of the event.
The educational kit contains, in addition to nutritional information and teaching sheets, a series of practical activities and games for the little ones, which can be easily carried out both at home in the family, and in kindergarten or school.
“We are honored to be the partners of the best nutrition education programme in schools in the European Union. It is proof that in Romania, too, projects can be developed to represent examples of good practice for the rest of Europe. This recognition of the Traista cu sănătate program is the result of a joint effort of specialists in the medical, nutritional and educational fields, together with the members of the local community in Iasi. Supporting this unique educational program in Romania completes our global goals. Through the global Nestlé for Healthier Kids Initiative, we aim to help over 50 million children lead healthier lives by 2030”, says Nicoleta Tupiță, authorized dietitian and Nutrition Manager of Nestlé South East Market.
“Traista cu sănătate” program was launched in Iasi in 2012. It is an educational program, dedicated to children and their families, which promotes a healthy lifestyle, respecting local traditions. It is internationally recognized, being included in the International Youth Health Community (YHC) network, along with programs from over 10 countries. The educational program “Traista cu sănătate” was designated the winner of the 1st place in the category “Healthy Lifestyle. Cities”, within the framework of the EU Health Award, awarded by the European Commission.
Healthy Traditions Foundation is been talking with the Ministry of Education to expand the project at national level starting from the next school year. You can browse part of the book Traista cu sanatate here: https://online.flippingbook.com/view/766023075/. The educational package can be ordered from the https://traditii-sanatoase.ro/ website, and part of the money will be used by the Healthy Traditions Foundation to continue and expand the project.