Sunday, July 18, 2010

Grade School Kids In Philippines Unite for Good Nutrition

The Department of Education in partnership with Kraft Cheez Whiz has come up with Palamantasan, the first interschool competition among grade school students nationwide in a quest for nutrition education in Buhangin Elementary School in Davao City. (Mindanao Examiner Photo – Geo Solmerano)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / July 18, 2010) - A not-so-fit Future? It has often been said that our future lies in the children of our country.

But what kind of future is in store for us when Philippine Statistics show that approximately 8 million Filipino children are malnourished?

Various nutrition education programs during Nutrition Month have been implemented to underscore the importance of proper nutrition among schoolchildren. To teach schoolchildren about nutrition is already something. But to revolutionize it into a nationwide interschool competition for them to learn is something else.

That is why Kraft Cheez Whiz with the Department of Education has come up with Palamantasan–the first interschool competition among grade school students nationwide in a quest for nutrition education.

In line with the Department of Education’s thrust to enhance nutrition education in schools, Kraft Cheez Whiz chose to do a school-based program to further raise public consciousness. “School is second to home where children learn basic lessons and values,” Alex Dan Tacderas, Category Manager for Cheese and Spoonables, Kraft Foods
Philippines said.

“That is why we wanted to direct our cause and execute our program in schools–in both an enjoyable and educational way,” Tacderas added.

Spearheaded to spread the significance of eating well, Palamantasan will not only last for the whole month of July. This nationwide nutrition advocacy will be conducted until the month of September. “In fighting malnutrition, we vie for sustainability and deep impact on schoolchildren,” Tacderas said.

Students can be Teachers Apart from Palamantasan being an enduring learning experience; it is a transformative way of teaching those in the elementary levels. “These
schoolchildren are at the stage of developing a sense of responsibility,” Paolo Serrano, Senior Brand Manager of Cheez Whiz, Kraft Foods Philippines, said. “This is why we want them to realize the significance of proper nutrition themselves–through a series of
fun, creative and learning activities.”

With the desire to make this competition-based campaign both feasible and fit for the participating schools, different forms of contests were prepared by the well-loved cheese brand. “These are children and we all know they prefer learning in a fun yet challenging way,” Serrano said. “We wanted to relay our cause to the schoolchildren through competitions.”

With contests such as “Jarchitecture” or Jar Art, Speech Choir, Sandwich Making, Essay-writing and more, the overall wit and skill of the participating children will be challenged. “This is not only to find out how much they know about the importance of good nutrition – it’s about them having the opportunity to learn more, apply it and share it with others,” Serrano said.

Over the years, educating children about proper nutrition has been one of the primary advocacies of many institutions. Palamantasan revolutionizes the learning experience of school children in corporate-sponsored nutrition education.

With Palamantasan as a promising project to help children become healthier in more ways than one, the country is continuously given the hope of a better and brighter future. (With a report from Geo Solmerano)

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