Jordan has become the world’s 80th country to introduce the Nestlé Healthy Kids Program, following an agreement with the Royal Health Awareness Society (RHAS) to implement the “Ajyal Salima” nutrition education curriculum in a number of schools as a pilot project, alongside other standards related to RHAS’ Healthy Schools program.
“RHAS considers Ajyal Salima to be a practical and effective educational approach that fits into our priorities and programs in Jordan shedding light on the importance of nutrition and physical activity to our school children,” said Hanin Odeh, RHAS Director General. “RHAS targets school children through implementing programs that aim to enhance and develop healthy environments in schools which reflect positively on their physical, social and educational evolution.”
“Nestlé is committed to nurturing healthier generations around the world, and to creating shared value for communities through long-term partnerships with local authorities and experts,” said Nestlé Middle East’s Creating Shared Value Manager, Karine Antoniades Turk.
“We are thrilled that the 80th country milestone for the Nestlé Healthy Kids Program, which was committed by 2015 in our global Nestlé in Society report, has been reached thanks to a new partnership in the Middle East, where Ajyal Salima has been thriving and proving its efficacy over the past five years.”
With the help of the country’s Education and Health ministries (school health unit), RHAS has adapted the American University of Beirut (AUB)-developed Ajyal Salima curriculum to the specific requirements of Jordanian children.
The Program encompasses three components that include classroom educational sessions for nine-eleven year-olds consisting of interactive learning and hands-on activities, healthy eating, and physical activity; parental involvement; and interventions at the school canteen level.
Its introduction in the Hashemite Kingdom began with “Train the Trainers” workshops, designed and delivered by AUB to equip Ministry of Education teachers and health educators to run the Program successfully in 4th and 5th grades. Roll out will initially cover 10 public schools over one academic year in Madaba Governorate, reaching around 1,200 students.
Based on the global Program launched in 2009 and now in 80 countries with Jordan joining the family, the regional Ajyal Salima curriculum was first developed by AUB and launched in Lebanon in 2010. It has since been scientifically* demonstrated to lead nine-eleven year-olds to have better eating habits and significantly increase their general nutrition awareness. Implementation in Dubai began in 2012, and in Saudi Arabia in 2014.
RHAS was established in 2005 under the direction of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah to promote health and empower Jordanians to adopt healthy lifestyles and behaviors. RHAS' community-based projects are implemented in accordance with the needs of communities and revolve around national health priorities.
About Nestlé Middle East
Nestlé Middle East’s heritage goes back 80 years to 1934 when the first import operation was set up in Lebanon. Today, Nestlé Middle East owns and operates 18 factories and provides direct employment to more than 11,000 people and indirect employment to several thousand more.
The Nestlé portfolio in the region currently exceeds 60 innovative product brands in a wide range of categories: dairy products and infant nutrition, bottled water, chocolate and confectionery, coffee creamers, breakfast cereals, and culinary products, among others. Nestlé Nido, Nestlé NAN, S-26, Progress, Maggi, Nescafé, Kit Kat, Coffeemate, Nestlé Cerelac, Nestlé Pure Life, Nespresso and Nestlé Fitness are just some of the brands available in the Middle East.
1. Habib-Mourad C., Ghandour L.A, Moore H.J, Nabhani-Zeidan M, Adetayo K, Hwalla N, Summerbell C. Promoting Healthy eating and physical activity among school children: findings from the Health-E-PALS, the first pilot intervention from Lebanon. BMC Public Health 2014, 14:940 doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-940
2. Habib-Mourad C., Moore H.J, Nabhani-Zeidan M, Hwalla N, Summerbell C. Health-E-PALS: promoting Healthy Eating and Physical Activity in Lebanese school children – Intervention development. Educ Health 2014,32. http://sheu.org.uk/x/eh321chm.pdf.
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Lynn Al Khatib
Nestlé Middle East