The Ministries of Health and Education are collaborating to formulate a school nutrition policy as part of efforts to create healthy eating habits among children.
Dominica has been working on the implementation of a school nutrition policy since 2012 when the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute facilitated a one day workshop here.
The workshop was convened in December 2012 with a view to developing a policy that will improve the quality of nutritional care provided to students at school.
The participants were afforded an opportunity to review and discuss a draft copy of the policy in order to provide feedback, critic and enhance the final document.
Speaking on Vibes Radio earlier this week, Nutritionist Nurse Kerissa Shillingford said persons tend to choose to develop healthy habits when they’re either on the way of developing a Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) or when the doctor advises them to lose some weight.
“So what we at the ministry of health are trying to put in place, together with the Ministry of Education, is to develop a school nutrition policy,” Nurse Shillingford informed.
“Basically it would speak to what the children can eat on the school compound, what will be allowed to sell on the school compound,” she continued.
Part of the objective of implementing this school feeding policy is to create an environment where students will also learn about eating healthy.
“So then they will know that there’s no need to drink all that Busta or Chubby; I could just get a glass of water, or I could drink some coconut water, or I could just have a fruit as my snack,” Nurse Shillingford stated.
Additionally, she said the school nutrition policy will educate the parents on better snack and food choices to give to their children as children live what they learn.
“So if they don’t have that training in them, then they tend to become adults that are obese with NCDs so we will always have that struggle,” Nurse Shillingford added.
The Dominica Government imposed a ten percent excise tax on alcoholic beverages and sugar confectionaries, to help reduce the incidents of chronic non-communicable diseases (CNCDs).