Feed children healthy food


SELLING of any items, especially food in and around school premises should be stopped.
The sale of food out in the open poses health risks.
It is already a health concern as such practices, particularly junk foods, has been blamed as one of the contributing factors to the poor health of children.
In 2018, Education secretary Dr Uke Kombra issued a circular to all schools in the nation’s capital to ban the sale of food in and around school premises.
For a while, sales stopped and it is back in full swing.
Some will argue that selling food outside schools is income for the mothers, but it should not be at the health expense of the children.
The Coronavirus (Covid-19) protocol of washing or sanitising hands is not being practiced.
Not only is the practice to stop the spread of Covid-19, but other dysentery diseases as well.
Let alone, those sellers are not wearing face masks, a total defiance of the Covid-19 orders.
Dr Kombra in his circular then said parents/guardians were not taking the responsibility to prepare suitable and healthy meals for their children.
Schools teach healthy eating in school and then undermine that by either allowing junk foods to be sold either in the canteens or in and around the school premises.
As the phrase “you are what you eat”, our children should be given healthy feeds at all times.
The phrase is literally true.
Nutrients from the foods our children eat provide the foundation of the structure, function and integrity of every little cell in their body, from the skin and hair to the muscles, bones, digestive and immune systems.
Despite the limited experimental evidence, there is growing concern that junk food availability in schools has contributed to the childhood obesity epidemic.
Junk food has been blamed as one of the contributing factors to the poor health of children, with PNG ranked the “worst” in the Pacific in terms of malnutrition.
Some health findings worldwide suggest that efforts to combat childhood obesity should be aimed at parents and the foods available at home and outside of school.
Regardless of their ultimate impact, the food sold in schools should reinforce the message of healthy eating that kids are learning in the classroom.
If there are school canteens, they should serve a range of food, not just salads, sandwiches and other healthy foods in order to provide such a choice and at an affordable price.
Schools need to teach pupils about how to make healthy choices and what makes a balanced diet.
They need education on what’s good for them.
They need to be given the chance to choose for themselves between a banana and a chocolate bar.
Otherwise, as soon as they’re out of school, they’ll still eat chocolate bars or popcorn because you have not changed their mindset.
If children try healthy food at school, they can take their knowledge home and introduce new food to their family.
A balanced diet includes small amounts of sugar, fat and salt – how do you decide what is healthy and what is not?
Portions are key to a healthy diet.
If pupils are very active and involved in sport, they may need to eat a lot of calories.
The upbringing of children is mostly down to parents.
Children and parents need to be taught to make responsible choices for themselves.
We should all take responsibility for the health and wellbeing of our children by revisiting the circular.