Nestlé, the world’s largest food and beverage company, is supporting as a main partner the international “Traista cu sănătate” programme which promotes the optional course “Education for a healthy lifestyle” in 70 primary schools and kindergartens in five counties from Romania.
The programme was initiated in Iasi in 2012 and is coordinated by the Healthy Traditions Foundation. This year, for the first time, the programme has been extended and partnerships have been concluded for the implementation of projects in the country, in Botoșani and Neamț, as well as abroad, in the Republic of Moldova, in Chișinău.
In Brussels, in March 2021, Iași’s educational initiative – Traista cu sănătate – won the 2020 EU Health Award in the Healthy Lifestyle Cities category. The educational programme is internationally recognised and included in the international Youth Health Community (YHC) network, alongside programmes in over 10 countries. At the Global Obesity Forum (New York, 2012), “Traista cu sănătate” programme was awarded 1st prize for the best child obesity prevention activity. On the value of the international programme ”Traista cu sănătate”, the results speak for themselves: among children who have benefited from this project, the prevalence of obesity was lower compared to the national average (9% versus 14.5%).
“This year, more than 10,000 children between 5 and 10 years old from Iași, Botoșani, Neamț, Suceava and Constanța will benefit from the optional course “Traista cu sănătate”, attending a healthy lifestyle education lesson every week. We have put together a unique educational package, including a handbook and guides for pre-school and primary school teachers. The “Traista cu sănătate” educational support is structured in eight learning units, which include theoretical information, activity ideas, educational sheets and useful stories for weekly lessons”, says Prof. Univ. Dr. Veronica Mocanu, the initiator of the “Traista cu sănătate” project.
The optional course “Traista cu sănătate – educație pentru un stil de viață sănătos” is recommended at national level for pre-school education and the training course for teachers to teach this complementary subject has been approved by the Ministry of Education. The objective of this optional course, endorsed by the Ministry and supported through the Nestlé for Healthier Kids global initiative, is to develop healthy behaviours and prevent obesity and chronic diseases, given that in Romania, as worldwide, the obesity epidemic is a real threat to public health.
According to a 2022 report by the World Health Organization (link), almost a third of children aged 7-9 are overweight in Romania and almost one in five is obese, a problem aggravated by the fact that more than 40% of people aged up to 18 are exposed to poverty in our country, according to Eurostat (link).
We are happy to be able to support “Traista cu sănătate” programme and we want to extend it to as many educational institutions in Romania as possible, and we are making consistent and constant efforts in this direction with the local authorities, whom we thank for their generosity and support. The programme is open to any school or kindergarten in Romania, and this year we have a double premiere, extending it in Botoșani and Neamț, and to the Republic of Moldova, to the “Spicușor” kindergarten in Chișinău. We are proud to be associated with a project that has become a model of good practice for the rest of Europe”, says Nicoleta Tupiță, Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Manager Nestlé South East Market.
Nestlé, the world’s largest food and beverage company, through the global Nestlé for Healthier Kids initiative, has joined the “Traista cu sănătate” project run by the Healthy Traditions Foundation in 2019 as a lead partner, aiming to support nationwide adoption of a healthy lifestyle.
The “Nestlé for Healthier Kids” programme was created to bring together all Nestlé efforts that support parents and guardians to raise healthier children – from research and product formulation to innovative education and nutrition services for a healthy lifestyle. In Romania, these efforts are reflected in partnerships with the national movement “Și eu trăiesc sănătos!” SETS developed by the PRAIS Foundation and the international programme “Traista cu sănătate. Tradiții sănătoase pentru copii sănătoși”, implemented by the Healthy Traditions Foundation and coordinated by Prof. Univ. Dr. Veronica Mocanu.
The Healthy Traditions Foundation’s mission is to teach children and young people healthy eating and lifestyle behaviours, promoting cultural traditions in achieving wellness and preventing obesity and chronic diseases. The goals of the organization are to promote healthy food consumption, promote physical activity, provide services to help overweight patients manage their weight, provide education and training in all aspects of health, support and promote health-related actions and research projects, cultivate and promote cultural traditions that can lead to the formation of healthy behaviors.