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Seminar on school feeding: teaching children to live healthy

On May 14, the Europe Hotel in Bishkek hosted a seminar on the School Feeding Programme (2024-2027) organized by the UN World Food Programme and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic. The event brought together 61 specialists from district education departments and representatives of international and local organizations, including the Ministry of Health.
During the seminar, Yulia Kudla, the head of SIFI's strategic planning and program development department, presented the results of testing the Healthy Lifestyle Basics educational guidance manual. This transformative course, implemented in four schools in Kyrgyzstan with students in grades 1-4, showed remarkable results. The participants were inspired and expressed a strong desire to use these materials in their schools.

Teacher experience: instilling healthy habits from an early age

The teachers participating in the testing shared their observations.
Zinaida Viktorovna Chayka, second grade teacher at Zubkov school №1: "The kids became more careful. They now feel responsible for maintaining order in the classroom and the eating area by keeping their desks and dining tables clean. They also started following hygiene rules by using wet wipes and washing hands."
Inna Sergeyevna Kuznetsova, first grade teacher at Baranov school №2: "The children were upset to learn about the end of the healthy lifestyle course. They really enjoyed the interactive classes, physical education sessions, and dynamic breaks. I noticed that children began to bring lunch boxes with fresh vegetables and fruits.”
The seminar participants had a chance to verify the quality of the guidance manual firsthand. The teachers offered to complete several tasks from the guide, conducted short physical education classes, and played an attention game.

Why teaching children to live a healthy lifestyle is important

Introducing the Healthy Lifestyle Basics course into the school curriculum offers numerous benefits. It not only helps children develop healthy habits from an early age, but also strengthens their immune system, enhances their concentration skills, and improves their academic performance. The course's focus on healthy eating and good hygiene also promotes children's activity and energy levels, leading to positive effects on their health and mood.

Seminar results and plans for the future

The seminar also focused on:
  • Current status of the School Feeding Programme in Kyrgyzstan.
  • Achievements and lessons learned from the School Meals Optimization Programme over the past ten years.
  • Plans to improve school feeding for 2024-2027.
  • Purchasing process to ensure food quality.
The initiative to improve the quality of school meals is vital for children's health and well-being. The introduction of new methods and materials for teaching a healthy lifestyle takes the implementation of the School Feeding Programme to a new level, which will undoubtedly help achieve positive results in strengthening its sustainability.