Nestlé Philippines pursues initiatives for better nutrition among Filipinos

Stunting, or impaired growth and development in children caused primarily by poor nutrition, is one of the country’s most pressing health concerns. Sadly, the 2019 Expanded National Nutrition Survey conducted by the Department of Science and Technology - Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) reveals that 25 percent - one out of four school age Filipino children - are stunted.

Nutrition Masterclass

The impact of the financial and food crises on the country’s poorest and most vulnerable sectors makes the need to invest in nutrition more urgent than ever. Partnerships among the public and the private sectors and communities are important in facilitating the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of nutrition projects, especially for children.

As the world's leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness Company, Nestlé is deeply committed to promoting sound and proper nutrition in the Philippines, and in the process improving the general health and wellness of all Filipinos.

Nestlé Philippines works closely with nutrition authorities in the government and the academe, as well as nutritionists and dietitians, to develop and implement programs that contribute meaningfully to addressing nutrition-related challenges.

PISO Recipes

Among its efforts, Nestlé Philippines is collaborating with the FNRI to implement an initiative called “Forging Public-Industry Society Alliance (PISO): A Program United for Healthier Kids,” which intends to improve the nutrition and well-being of targeted schoolchildren. The PISO program has four interweaving projects, of which one is to develop recipes based on the Pinggang Pinoy® Kids Plate.

Pinggang Pinoy® is the FNRI’s easy-to-understand food guide that uses a familiar food plate model to convey the right food group proportions on a per-meal basis to help Filipinos acquire healthy eating habits needed to attain optimum nutrition. Different Pinggang Pinoy® Plates have been developed for various physiologic groups (children, adolescents, adults, the elderly, pregnant women, and lactating mothers).

The recipe component of PISO aims to develop and standardize Pinggang Pinoy® recipes for children six to nine years old. The recipes are guided by food economics, optimizing nutritional value to meet a part of daily energy and protein requirements while considering availability, accessibility, taste, cultural acceptability, and affordability by targeting a raw food cost of Php 15.00 per meal.

A wellness recipe booklet titled “Masustansya, Masarap at Abot-kayang Pagkain sa Halagang P100“was also developed to provide nutrition information for the children’s families. The recipe booklet allows mothers and caregivers to serve healthy, delicious, and affordable meals benefitting the family, especially children. The recipes/combos were quantified to create a meal worth Php 100 for a family of five that includes one serving of the recipe, a banana, and rice in each portion. This recipe booklet features 17 healthy recipes complete with estimated energy and macronutrient contents of the meals.

At the recent 66th Annual Convention of the Nutritionist-Dietitians’ Association of the Philippines (NDAP), with the sponsorship of Nestlé Philippines, the science behind the development of PISO was presented by Marietta Bumanglag, DOST-FNRI Senior Science Research Specialist. NDAP is the organization of the country’s Registered Nutritionist-Dietitians accredited by the Professional Regulation Commission.

Nestlé Philippines also sponsored a cooking demonstration by MAGGI Chef Eric Magtanong of a delicious and nutritious recipe, “Spaghetti with Chicken Meatballs,” good for a family of five while costing only Php 100.

Still at the NDAP annual convention, under its commitment to build, share and apply nutrition knowledge, Nestle Philippines launched the Nestle Nutrition Masterclass (www.nutritionmasterclass.com.ph), the first-ever website designed for the country’s Registered Nutritionist-Dietitians. The website provides up-to-date and localized content that will help professionals keep abreast of the latest information on nutrition and health. The contents are co-developed with local nutrition experts.

“As the Kasambuhay ng Pamilyang Pilipino, we are dedicated to providing nutritious and tasty food and beverage products for all family members. Beyond that, in collaboration with other stakeholders, we are working to help elevate the state of nutrition awareness and practices by improving consumers’ understanding of nutrition, encouraging healthy habits, creating access to nutritious food, and promoting an active lifestyle,” said Nestle Philippines Chairman and CEO Kais Marzouki.