- Nestlé will bring its global flagship initiative, Nestlé for Healthier Kids to the United States through a kick-off event in Newark, N.J. today, that introduces the “Start Healthy, Stay Healthy” program.
Globally, Nestlé for Healthier Kids uses Nestlé’s industry-leading innovation to support families in raising healthy kids, with the goal of helping 50 million children worldwide live healthier lives by 2030. A critical component of the global Nestlé for Healthier Kids program is accelerating the implementation of grassroots programs to better equip parents and caregivers with nutritional knowledge and practical tips.
As part of Nestlé for Healthier Kids in the United States, the company will support initiatives that help provide nutrition education for parents of young children under the banner of a program called “Start Healthy, Stay Healthy”. This program focuses on the first 1,000 days and provides families with evidence-based education to help them establish and maintain good nutritional habits for their children. Families who complete the curriculum also have an opportunity to become mentors to other families entering the program.
Start Healthy, Stay Healthy was originally piloted in 2014 with Rutgers University-Newark’s Office of University-Community Partnerships (OUCP). “This program and its curriculum have had a positive impact on our local community. Those families who have completed the pilot program have committed to providing their young children with healthy foods and good nutritional habits,” stated Dr. Diane Hill, who leads the initiative for OUCP.
This year, the program will again expand through a partnership with the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance to five sites in the state.
“We are excited and proud to partner with Nestlé on Start Healthy, Stay Healthy,” said Dr. Darrin Anderson, executive director of the Alliance. “This public-private partnership combines Nestlé’s industry-leading innovation with the YMCA’s deep community ties to provide opportunities for dynamic, ongoing engagement with families and children about health and nutrition. We are also pleased to have Dr. Hill and her Rutgers team actively involved in training our teams and conducting the ongoing evaluations.”
The formal launch event for this partnership will be held today at the YMCA of Newark and Vicinity. The event includes remarks from Nestlé, YMCA and Rutgers University-Newark leadership, as well as a healthy, hands-on snack-making activity by Nestlé chef and Food Network Star Matthew Grunwald. Other event attendees will include Start Healthy, Stay Healthy program graduates, local children and local government officials, in addition to representatives from the each of the partner organizations.
The Start Healthy, Stay Healthy program is a vital way for Nestlé to help ensure a healthier future for communities. According to Wendy Johnson, PhD, MPH, RD, vice president of nutrition, health and wellness for Nestlé, “What children eat in their first 1,000 days has an impact on their health trajectory over the span of life. Understanding this speaks volumes about the criticality of this program for our future. We are very proud to partner with the YMCA and Rutgers University-Newark to do this very important work.”