To prevent obesity and malnutrition by creating an enabling environment for healthy eating through the provision of healthier school meals to primary school children in three urban areas.
The proposed project represents a pilot intervention that focuses on primary prevention from the food system angle. The project will strengthen the implementation of the South African National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP).
The pilot will establish a platform of broad multi-stakeholder engagement among school governing bodies and local authorities to guarantee a participatory approach to create, implement, and evaluate the project. During the inception phase, target schools will be selected, outcome measurements identified and potential barriers in promoting healthy lifestyles analysed.
A Slow Plate food education programme focusing on preparing nutritious meals will be rolled out by chefs. Furthermore, educators and food handlers, who are responsible for preparing meals for students, will benefit from cooking sessions. These sessions will focus on how to source for and prepare a healthy plate using produce from local food gardens. As a result, students will benefit from healthier meals being served. In addition, the schools presenting the most nutritious meals will be rewarded monthly through competitions.
Educators will be trained through a ToT approach (12 trainers per school) to conduct educational activities around food knowledge, tasting, food handling, gardening, food waste and healthy lifestyles in the classroom and the garden (hands-on learning). In addition, the establishment/strengthening of local food gardens in schools and communities will increase the diversity of produce for school meals.
To raise awareness on nutrition, the local authorities, food producers, and chefs will conduct food events ("Eat-In" workshops/conferences) involving parents and other community members.
Lastly, regular dialogue/policy meetings with local authorities will be organised to improve policies that affect food education and food production, focusing on the NSNP.
- 20 primary schools reached by the Slow Plate food education programme and providing healthier meals to students.
- 200 educators and food handlers trained to cook healthy meals.
- 8,000 students provided with more nutritious and diverse foods.
- 10 trainers from the Slow Food network trained on food education.
- 120 educators trained on food education in the classroom/garden.
- 4,800 students provided with hands-on learning on food education in the classroom/garden.
- 8,000 parents and community members informed about healthy eating.
- 12 food gardens producing increased volumes and diversity of crops.
- Outcomes measured at both the individual and organisational level