Snack Time Animation Launch Promotes Healthy Snacking Among Youth.

Basseterre: St. Kitts, Wednesday, February 01, 2023: An animation ‘It’s Snack Time’ geared towards promoting healthy snacking among children was launched on Tuesday, January 31 at the CUNA Conference Centre. This health-conscious initiative was a collaboration between the Ministry of Education, the Curriculum Development Unit, Lake Health Wellbeing and the Republic of China \ Taiwan ICDF.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education et al, Hon Dr. Geoffrey Hanley expressed gratitude for the partnership and initiative. The minister emphasized the need for conscious eating amongst the Federation’s youth population.

“Our young people are growing up in a world where they are bombarded by ads that encourage them to eat fast food, embrace designer diet plans and spend money on sugar-laden drinks. This lure to eating fast food is undeniably evident in our community. In order to break this unhealthy cycle, we must begin to teach our children who are our future leaders, educators, entrepreneurs and consumers, to make ‘Good Food’ choices,” the Minister stated.

Explaining the step taken by the Ministry of Education in ensuring that the nation’s students are exposed to healthy lifestyle practices at an early age, the minister articulated

“As a community, we have to renew our commitment toward helping our youth make healthy lifestyle choices. The Ministry of Education has already committed to the improvement of our students’ health by introducing Health and Wellness as a core subject in our primary schools. This move to helping our children understand how their body works through a program that focuses on Healthy Literacy and Physical Literacy is in keeping with UNESCO’s Sustainable Development Goals 3 & 4.”

Ambassador, his Excellency Michael Chau-Hong Lin emphasized the importance of healthy eating in childhood and its correlation to obesity and Non–Communicable Diseases (NDCs) in adulthood. Expounding on the “Project of Health Promoting Preschool” in Taiwan, Ambassador Lin reinforced the need for partnership between parents and teachers to ensure that students are exposed to a supportive environment.

“What is equally important is the support of family. Healthy eating habits need to be supported by a healthy environment. The habits and knowledge that the students learn at school should also be implemented at home, and it needs the support of the family. The collaboration between school teachers and parents is also crucial in these projects.”

A representative from the regional group Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) Maisha Hutton, Executive Director briefed the audience on the regional approaches to tackling childhood obesity and provided policy approaches that can be adopted to create a healthy school environment to support initiatives like It’s Snack Time.

The animation ‘It’s Snack Time’ aims to promote a culture of healthy snacking by encouraging children and their parents to opt for fresh fruits and vegetables as snacks rather than ultra-processed, unhealthy snacks that are high in sugar, salt and saturated fat.

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