Znaimo online platform on healthy eating in schools launched

15 December 2021
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UNICEF

A website dedicated to healthy eating has been launched for schools in Ukraine, aimed at providing children, parents and teachers with vital information on nutrition.

Znaimo, or “we know what we eat”, is part of a wider overhaul of the school nutrition system, which is taking place in Ukraine on the initiative and under the patronage of First Lady Olena Zelenska.

Thanks to the online Znaimo hub, educational managers, headteachers, teachers and parents now have access to up-to-date information about the nutritional reform, regulations, procurement of food and equipment, training materials and advice on nutrition for children.

“Our goal is more than just changing the school menu. We want to change the eating habits of Ukrainians. This, of course, is not done in a day or even a year. But someone has to start. Let it be us,” said First Lady Olena Zelenska.

The portal also offers recipe cards and recommended menus for schools, information on nutrition for children with special dietary needs, and video guides on modern forms of school nutrition and the implementation of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system, which ensures the safety of food.

A separate section for parents offers materials aimed at helping them to better understand healthy eating, the importance of a varied diet and the risks caused by unhealthy eating and obesity. The section also contains tips on how to help children get used to healthy eating.

Additionally, a section containing training materials and factsheets will be useful for both students and teachers, helping them to learn more about healthy eating through everyday school subjects. 

Businesses, too, can benefit from the portal, which will help them to understand the feasibility and advantages of helping schools to change the nutrition system.

Information and materials on the portal will regularly be updated.

“Parents play a key role in shaping eating behaviours of their children, and this new online portal will help parents to change their practices for better and healthier nutrition. Meanwhile, children and young people are already making their own choices of food and drinks, they cook and they purchase food. This online portal, and new behaviour change campaign will help activate young boys and girls to learn, embrace and share healthy eating practices in their lives and communities”, -  said Murat Sahin, Representative UNICEF Ukraine.

Znaimo is a joint project between Ukrainian government agencies, international partners, Ukrainian NGOs and businesses. 

The website was jointly developed by the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Economy, the State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection, MES reform support experts, and the Public Health Centre of Ukraine.

Support for the development of the website was provided by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Ukraine, the Swiss-Ukrainian projects DECIDE and Act for Health, the Association of Nutritionists of Ukraine and the team of Ievgen Klopotenko. SoftServe acted as an IT partner.

In 2019, on the initiative of First Lady Olena Zelenska, a reform of the school nutrition system was launched. During 2020, the necessary legislative changes were made – namely, the updated Sanitary Regulations and new hygienic requirements for the production and circulation of food in schools were approved, and guidelines for the procurement and guidelines for the use of the HACCP system were developed.

During 2021, a series of regional forums on school nutrition reform took place. Five forums held from August to November brought together 3,000 participants, including heads and deputy heads of State oblast administrations, directors of education and science departments, directors of economic development departments, heads of local communities, heads of local education authorities, heads from local departments of the State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection, and heads of local departments of the State Service for Educational Quality of the respective regions. 

For reference:

The Znaimo school nutrition reform platform was developed with the support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Ukraine and the Swiss-Ukrainian project DECIDE project (Decentralization for Improved Democratic Education), and implemented by a consortium of DOCCU (Development of Civic Competences in Ukraine) and Zurich University of Teacher Education (PH Zurich, Switzerland), as well as the Ukrainian-Swiss Act for Health Project (Reducing the Prevalence of Risk Factors for Noncommunicable Diseases in Ukraine), GFA Consulting Group, University Clinics of Geneva/Hôpitaux Universita de Genève, Women's Health and Family Planning Charitable Foundation and One Health, with the support of the Swiss Confederation. Technical development is provided by SoftServe.

 

Media contacts

Nina Sorokopud
Chief of Communication
UNICEF in Ukraine

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