Nutritional education

education programmers

Nutritional education

What is the issue?

Lack of public knowledge and understanding about nutrition is a key barrier to healthy eating and lifestyles, particularly among children and young people.

banner image

Why is it important?

As a major food company, we believe we have a responsibility to raise awareness of nutrition and exercise through educational programmes.


  • Achieved
  • By 2015 – Reach 76,000 children in 339 primary schools around the UK through the Healthy Kids Programme (in partnership with PhunkyFoods).
  • We have reached more than 86,000 children in 316 primary schools. Whilst we did not manage to reach the number of primary schools, we did exceed our target of reaching 76,000 children.

Raising awareness of healthier lifestyles and physical exercise among school children.


Developing new research and education partnerships and enhancing corporate reputation.

banner image

What are we doing about it?

To help make sure that children around the world learn good eating and exercise habits early, we’ve set up a global initiative called the Nestlé Healthy Kids programme. Launched in 2009, the programme delivers educational campaigns through partnerships with organisations worldwide, including national and local governments, NGOs, nutrition health institutes and sport federations.

At the end of 2015, we were actively working with more than 280 partners to deliver our Healthy Kids Programme in over 80 countries, reaching 8.4 million children in that year alone.

A healthy diet is crucial for children’s growth and development and it all starts with raising awareness from an early age. It’s for this reason that we are celebrating International Chefs Day and the important role that preparing and cooking healthier family meals plays.
Steve Oram, Chef Coordinator, Nestlé Professional

Kids cooking  

Tackling obesity in primary schools with PhunkyFoods

In the UK, as part of our Healthy Kids programme, we have been working with the primary school initiative, PhunkyFoods, since 2012 to provide classroom resources, lesson plans and teacher training. The programme is designed to help school staff, with the support of local PhunkyFoods community workers, to raise awareness, improve knowledge and change behaviour around healthier lifestyles through a range of practical and engaging activities. By 2015, the programme reached more than 86,000 children in 316 primary schools.

In 2015, we also began to develop the PhunkyFoods Ambassador Scheme. This involves training Year 5 and 6 pupils in peer mentoring, so they can inspire and support other children to eat healthily and to become more physically active.

In both 2013 and 2015, PhunkyFoods received an award from the Royal Society for Public Health for its ‘trailblazing and dynamic campaign against rising levels of obesity in children’.

Also in 2015, Leeds Beckett University completed its evaluation study of the PhunkyFoods programme. The study found that PhunkyFoods was delivering effectively for children, with teachers responding positively to the programme.

Nutrition during the first 1,000 days

Research has shown that nutrition during the first 1,000 days of a child’s life plays a vital role in their future development, affecting brain development, growth, and resistance to germs and allergies, with effects that last into adulthood.

In partnership with the Journal of Family Healthcare, Nestlé Nutrition ran three full-day conferences around the UK to raise awareness of this issue in 2015 and 2016. Health visitors, midwives, community nurses and practice nurses attended the free conferences, which covered issues such as responsive feeding, complementary feeding, family nutrition and the role of protein in early growth.

Little chefs  

Celebrating International Chefs Day

Every year on 20 October, the World Association of Chefs Society celebrates International Chefs Day. Nestlé Professional has partnered with the association since 2014 to bring nutrition, health and wellness to chefs and the people they serve.

In 2015, Nestlé Healthy Kids supported International Chefs Day under the theme ‘Healthy Kids – Healthy Future’. In the UK, we marked the occasion by running cookery workshops in schools, to help schoolchildren understand the importance of healthier lifestyles and healthy cooking. As part of our Healthy Kids Programme, 90 students from schools in Halifax and Crawley took part in fun, interactive cookery workshops led by chefs from Nestlé Professional with support from PhunkyFoods.

icon right  

What’s next?

We will continue to raise awareness of nutrition and exercise with schoolchildren through educational programmes in the UK. We will also look to celebrate International Chefs Day again in 2016 with the aim to involve further schools and help schoolchildren understand the importance of healthier lifestyles and healthy cooking.

As part of Nestlé Professional’s Toque d’Or competition in 2016, we are introducing a focus on nutrition. Applications will be judged on criteria such as offering healthy alternatives out of home, balanced recipes and healthier cooking techniques.

The competition motivates and inspires catering students up and down the country, by offering real-life experiences and exposure to key industry figures, as well as exciting challenges to get the best out of the contestants.