On 09 March 2018, a workshop under the motto “With better nutrition of children to better health and well-being” was organized by Center for Regional Policy Research and Cooperation “Studiorum” with the support of the line ministries and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The event was addressed by Prof. Renata Deskoska, Minister of Education and Science, Mrs. Mila Carovska, Minister of Labour and Social Policy, Mr Benjamin Perks, UNICEF representative in Macedonia, and Dr Goce Chakarovski, Dputy-Minister of Health.
At the meeting were presented the findings from the research on the quality of nutrition of children in kindergartens and primary schools, which indicated lack of fresh fruits and vegetables, resulting with insufficient micronutrients intake such as calcium, iron and zinc, and at the expense of it children consume more sugar, fat and salt than recommended quantities.
Nutrition problems among young population as a global challenge are present in our country as well. On the one hand, there is the problem of malnutrition, and on the other hand are the overweight and obesity that data show that they have a growing trend among the children in Macedonia.
The new rulebook of the Ministry of Education and Science and instruction for correct use of the new rulebook were discussed at the workshop as well. The conclusions of the discussions in the working groups of the present representatives of the line ministries, educational institutions and experts were included in the final versions of the research, and new rulebook and instruction were supplemented with suggestions for better implementation.
“Poor nutrition affects not only the physical development of children, but also undermines the cognitive, emotional and social development as well as learning abilities in children. Nutrition is not concern for individual only, but rather a concern of the whole society. The promotion of good nutrition habits in the schools may lead to significant contribution for the overall child development and breaking the intergenerational cycle of poor nutrition habits,“ said Benjamin Perks, UNICEF Representative.
More than 60 representatives of the central government, local self-government, academic community, directors of kindergartens and primary schools, people involved in educational process, as well as stuff who directly works on preparing menus and food for children in preschools and primary schools participated at the workshop. During the workshop was opened a dialog among all stakeholders that should continue with the adoption of appropriate policies and their intersectoral implementation.