Paranaque celebrates Nutrition Month

Pursuant to P.D. 491 (Nutrition Act of the Philipiines) and in line with continuing efforts to promote the values of sound nutrition, the Parañaque City Government has lined up several activities as it joins the nation in celebrating the 38thyear of Nutrition Month.

    Guided by the theme, “Pagkain ng gulay, ugaliin, araw-araw ihain!”, the objectives of the year’s celebration are: a) To increase the vegetable consumption as part of a healthy diet to address micronutrient and non-communicable diseases; b) To promote vegetable gardening as a source of additional income;  and c) To increase demand for vegetables for local  farmers.

    Based on food consumption surveys, Filipinos on average consume less and less vegetables per day in the last three decades.  From 145 grams of vegetables per day in 1978, consumption has decreased to 110 grams in 2008.  This is due to many factors including the introduction of processed and instant foods; emergence of several fast foods; hectic schedules; changes in lifestyles; lack of knowledge on the nutritional and health benefits of fruits and vegetables; and lack of encouragement of children for vegetable and fruit consumption.

    Organizing the activities is the Nutrition Division headed by Ms. Abelyn Bugayong. It is under the organization of the City Health Office under Dr. Olga Virtusio.

     The activities lined for this year’s celebration are:  A cooking contest for Barangay Nutrition Scholars (July 4, 2012);  Poster-making contest for Fourth Year High School students (Jul 10);  Nutri Quiz for Infant Young Child and Feeding (ICYF) trained Barangay Health Workers (Jul 11);  Gulayang Panglungsod Lakbay Aral for nutrition officers, BNS and TWGs of Urban Gardening (Jul 18 and 19); technical nutrition updates (Jul 23 and 24); cooking demonstration-veggie meat cuisine (Jul 25);  nutrition program management review (Aug 2 and 3);  Lakbay Aral (Aug 4 and 5). The celebration culminates on Aug 17.

      “We support this campaign that promotes increased vegetable consumption as well as vegetable propagation in school grounds and backyards. Apart from being an essential of good nutrition and healthy living, home and school gardening is a good practice.”, Mayor Bernabe said.

     This LGU has Project F.R.E.S.H. (Future Resilience and Stronger Households in the Philippines) that was launched by Save the Children; Kraft Foods Philippines; City Government of Parañaque; and the Dept. of Education-P’que Division of City Schools. It aims to “make foods go further”; mitigate hunger; provide additional food source for family, likewise for community supplemental feeding; and afford means for families to earn extra income.

     In 2011, Parañaque City won the Bursary Award at the International Awards for Liveable Cities (LivCom Awards) in Songpa-Gu, Seoul, South Korea for said food production project. Project FRESH went to the heart of what LivCom judges pinpointed as one of the key challenges for regional and local governments.

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