By Miriam P. Aquino, PIA 1, La Union
SAN FERNANDO CITY – The regional launch of the 43rd National Nutrition Month celebration was held July 3 at the La Union National High School, here.
Ma. Eileen B. Blanco, head of the National Nutrition Council Region 1 (NNC-R1), said that this year’s theme “Healthy diet, gawing habit – FOR LIFE” focuses on the promotion of healthy diet covering all age brackets.
Blanco, however, underscored that they have targeted students for the regional launch since it is within their age group that a strong foundation of good health starts.
“It should not be disregarded that good nutrition of children starts from the very first 1000 days or from zero to nine months of the mother’s pregnancy, to the birth of the child up to the first year and from one year to two years,” Blanco reminded.
The guest of honor and speaker in the event was Regional Director Alma Ruby C. Torio of the Department of Education Regional Office 1.
In her message, she emphasized that their Department supports NNC’s program of promoting healthy nutrition through implementing DepEd Order 13 or the Policy and Guidelines on Healthy Food and Beverage Choices in Schools and in DepEd offices.
“The new policy promotes and develops healthy eating among the youth and DepEd employees by setting food standards and by making available healthy, nutritious, and affordable menu choices in school canteens,” said Torio.
She added, “The schools will also need cooperation from parents to be responsible in reminding their children to refrain from buying food from ambulant vendors whenever they are outside the school campuses.”
Among school personnel, Torio also shared that a health program dubbed as “Biggest Loser” is being implemented to encourage them to practice healthy habits.
Meanwhile, Dr. Fatima R. Boado, San Fernando City schools division superintendent, said that their programs on healthy living are already institutionalized, giving primary focus on the “Gulayan sa Paaralan” program.
“Even the poor families can have good nutrition provided they can have their own backyard garden with fresh fruits and vegetables or containerized gardening for limited spaces,” Boado said.
“Good nutrition does not just speak of expensive foods to eat but it is how productive families are and how disciplined they are with what they eat,” she added.
The launching started with a kick-off program followed by simultaneous zumba exercises, live KBP Forum/press conference, poster-making and nutri-chant contest for high school students and poster-slogan contest for employees of regional line agencies.#