A child drinks milk at the World's Milk Day event held by Frisian Flag Indonesia in 2015. (Antara Photo/Andreas Fitri Amoko)

Parents, Teachers Urged to Improve Children's Nutrition Literacy

BY :JAYANTY NADA SHOFA

SEPTEMBER 28, 2020

Jakarta. Both parents and teachers should play an active role in instilling healthy dietary habits such as daily milk consumption in children, experts said in a recent webinar held by dairy-based product company Frisian Flag Indonesia or FFI.

Following school closures, parents now take the teacher's role at home to teach their children about a well-balanced diet. For example, drinking milk every day is not only necessary for a child's growth but also an immunity boost amid the pandemic.

The study-from-home situation also requires parents to communicate with teachers even more.

"What the pandemic has taught us is a new education paradigm that is more collaborative, creative, and innovative. It is time for all education elements, parents, teachers, and students, to team up and try out new things," Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim told the webinar on Saturday. 

According to the University of Indonesia's nutritionist Sandra Fikawati, nutrition education is a shared responsibility.

"In the middle of the global health crisis, we have to prepare our children's nutrition literacy, starting from elementary school. [With children now learning from home], nutrition literacy does not only become the responsibility of teachers and students but the parents as well," Sandra said. 

Because of this, the university's Nutrition and Health Studies Center (PKGK UI) fully supports FFI's campaign Gerakan Nusantara (Gernus).

On this nationwide campaign, FFI promotes food and nutrition literacy and daily milk consumption at schools. The campaign also focuses on supporting the government's school child nutrition program (Progas). 

Since its initial launch in 2013, Gernus has reached 2,520,774 students and 4,886 teachers in elementary schools across the archipelago.

PKGK UI has surveyed a knowledge-behavior-practice model on the positive effect of healthy and active behavior on children throughout 2015-2018. The results showed significant improvement in nutrition literacy and healthy behaviors.

FFI corporate affairs director Andrew F. Saputro said the company is committed to improving nutrition literacy in the country through Gernus. 

"This year, we are happy to be involved in the Education Ministry's 'Learning from Home' program and support the food safety program by the Food and Drug Agency (BPOM)," Andrew said.

Also, the milk producer will continue collaborating with experts and scholars.

"We are also excited to present more nutrition education programs that make use of digital technology. With good cooperation, we are very optimistic about Indonesia's future. Let's drink milk every day and implement a healthy diet and active lifestyle, be it at home, school, or in their community," he added.

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