2020 Day One with Danone campaign is gaining momentum and going national
South African corporates and government have been made aware of the alarming statistics that emerged in the recent HAKSA report (compiled by a number of South African universities) which identified that; one in five South African children skip breakfast, less than half consume the recommended intake of vegetables and fruit and their intake of key vitamins and minerals is less than 67% of what is recommended. This has a devastating effect on the growth (physical and mental) of our children and Danone launched their 2020 Day One campaign to coincide with the start of the 2020 school year. This is now going national in a drive to improve the status quo by educating parents and caregivers on the benefits of good nutrition and how it impacts on the development of children, whether in the classroom or on the sportsfield.
Education is a global equaliser and everyone in a child’s life, be it an educator, parent or caregiver, plays a part in ensuring that South Africans can compete anywhere in the world, and this all starts from birth. There is a window of opportunity (the first 1000 days) to ensure that children receive adequate nutrition to ensure that areas of growth and maturity are met at the right time to meet important milestones.
“Our Day One with Danone campaign is educational and empowers parents and children to make correct food choices to improve nutrition and wellbeing,” said Leanne Keizer, Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Manager, Danone Southern Africa. “A healthy eating plan, which means consuming the correct amounts of vitamins and minerals, is of paramount importance in every aspect of a child’s life including building strength, promoting physical fitness, giving energy for optimal concentration and brain development. To compete globally, whether in the boardroom or on the sports field, South Africans must match their international counterparts thereby creating equal opportunities and, what many parents are not aware, this all starts with good nutrition in our first years.
Day One by Danone also demonstrates that healthy eating is affordable. “There are five simple steps to healthy eating that we are promoting through our campaign,” said Keizer. “Eat breakfast every day; eat more fruit and vegetables; have milk, maas or yoghurt every day; drink more water; and exercise. We teach kids these five steps through play so they will retain the information and it creates longevity. 2020 is of particular importance as it fits into our global One Planet One Health vision, which reflects our belief that the health of people and that of the planet are interlinked and both need to be protected and nurtured.”
“It’s an unfortunate fact that we only recognise the symptoms of bad eating when it is too late,” said Keizer. “Snacks form an important element of healthy eating and we encourage children to select a fruit instead of a sweet or packet of crisps. Our NutriDay yoghurts, which are high in protein, have been made with carefully selected added nutrients known to be lacking in the diets of South African children (Vitamins A, B, D, E) and are the only yoghurts in South Africa that are a source of Zinc, essential in building a healthy immune system, growth and cognitive development. These additions fuel a child’s potential to thrive. We cannot stress enough the importance of drinking water, eating vegetables and fruit and including milk, yoghurt or maas in a child’s diet.”
Exercise is key to good health. “Our Danone Nations Cup, the biggest soccer tournament in the world for children between the ages of 10 and 12 years old, has enabled us to talk to over 40 million kids around the world since its inception in 2000. We use the biggest sport in the world to promote the importance of exercise and encourage young athletes to ‘Play Football, Change the Game’, which is a rallying message to unite children, irrespective of their backgrounds and cultures, and to encourage them to become catalysts for positive change,” concluded Keizer.
To ensure continuity, Danone is constantly loading nutritional tips, advice and recipes onto the Danone website: www.danone.co.za to assist parents and caregivers.
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