School administrators are being urged to take responsibility in ensuring that unhealthy foods and drinks are not entering the school system.
Making the call while addressing a consultation on the National School Nutrition Policy Green Paper at the Merl Grove High School in St. Andrew on Tuesday (July 26), Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, said school leaders must be at the forefront of promoting good nutrition among students.
He said that many children are eating and drinking themselves sick, and the Government is “taking a bold step” to establish guidelines around nutrition, which will give youngsters the best chance of developing a healthy lifestyle.
In May of this year, Cabinet approved the policy, which sets nutritional standards and offers healthier eating options for students from early childhood through to high school.
Dr Tufton argued that eating more fruits and vegetables, reducing the consumption of sugary drinks and fried foods, and increasing water consumption, will enhance the holistic development of children, which is the objective of the policy.
Minister of Education and Youth, Fayval Williams, in her remarks, said that the policy is aiming to achieve healthier lifestyles and better educational outcomes.
She noted that adopting healthy eating habits is as important as what is taught in the classroom.
“Without good nutrition and physical activity, we are destroying our present generation, leaving little or no hope for the next,” she contended.
The National School Nutrition Policy was produced by the Government through collaborating ministries and agencies and aims to guide the process for the provision of good nutrition coupled with wellness, especially for the most vulnerable students in society.
The policy seeks to ensure that children entering educational facilities are exposed to good nutrition and healthy lifestyles.