Press Release:– Officials within the Ministry of Health and Wellness met recently at a workshop to develop guidelines for the introduction of nutritional standards for school meals.
Participants were granted the opportunity to share ideas about ways to ensure that students are provided with healthy and balanced meals on a daily basis.
Chief Nutritionist, Lisa Hunt-Mitchell, said healthy food choices at the schools should be made a priority as a means of combatting childhood obesity.
“There is a big problem with childhood obesity with Saint Lucia, as well as around the world. Because children spend so much time at schools, we want to ensure that the school environment is one that supports healthy eating. These standards will serve to guide what is acceptable. This is actually part of a bigger picture because we would like to develop a nutrition policy for all schools in Saint Lucia, starting from daycare, because we know some of the foods that parents actually put in the bags for the children are very unhealthy, and can contribute to childhood obesity.”
Mrs. Mitchell added that with continued support and dialogue, it is hoped that measures will be put in place to ensure the provision of nutritious food for all children.
“We know that obesity is a risk factor for many chronic diseases and so we will like to reverse that trend by making sure the foods available, whether it is served at the schools or around the schools or at the school canteens, are healthy for the school children.”
The Ministry of Health will continue to undertake a series of workshops, monitoring assessments and awareness campaigns as a means of ensuring the implementation of nutrition sensitive school meals in Saint Lucia.