As food systems around the world continue to recover from the shock of the Covid-19 pandemic, Nourishing Schools Foundation, Confederation of Indian Industry’s Food & Agriculture Centre of Excellence and Food Future Foundation today hosted an online Food Systems Dialogue to inform the first-ever UN Food Systems Summit, which will take place in New York in September. This milestone Summit is drawing on the input of people all over the world to identify sustainable solutions for the future of food.
The Independent Dialogue brought together 27 eminent participants to develop ideas on how to make the local food system safer, stronger and more sustainable for delivering nutrition for children
Archana Sinha, CEO and Co-founder, Nourishing Schools Foundation and co-convenor of the Dialogue said, “Promoting the consumption of safe and nutritious foods among children of all age groups is critical for tackling malnutrition in India. This dialogue gave us the opportunity to engage with various stakeholders on the key issues impacting children’s nutrition, the impact of various interventions and how children can take charge of tackling malnutrition.”
Pawan Agarwal, former CEO, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India and co-convenor of the Dialogue said, “It is essential to transform food systems for creating a food secure, healthy and sustainable world. To further this objective, this dialogue helps us look at food systems from the lens of children’s nutrition and the various initiatives that need to be taken to create a lasting change in this space.”
These organisations co-convened this dialogue as a part of the Coalition Of Partners For Food System Transformation In India, a multi-stakeholder forum established in the context of the UN Food Systems Summit 2021 to develop pathways and build commitments for action to set off food system transformation in India.
The Dialogue brought together 27 participants for a lively and constructive discussion on how to make the food system in India safer, stronger, and more equitable, from the perspective of delivering nutrition to children. The Dialogue was chaired by Vinita Bali, Chairperson, CII National Committee on Nutrition.
Many of the insights from the dialogue will inform the development of the India Food System Vision 2030 Report, expected to be published by the Coalition Of Partners For Food System Transformation In India in September 2021.
The Dialogue included a diverse array of perspectives, including from the government, academia, civil society, the private sector and schools. The primary topics of discussion were the triple burden of malnutrition in India for children (being underweight, overweight and/or deficient in micronutrients); interventions by the government, the private sector and civil society to address this as well as Vision 2030 for tackling this issue.
Participants agreed on a number of ways that the food system for delivering nutrition for children can be strengthened. These included the following:
- Adopting a life-cycle approach for nutrition interventions that targets adolescents, in addition to pregnant women and children under 2 years
- Adding more content to the school curriculum on health and wellbeing, to build awareness and create behaviour change among children
- Using mass and digital communication such as online games, social media and television to raise awareness, educate and inform parents and children about better nutrition
The Independent Dialogue is listed on the UN Food Systems Summit website here: https://summitdialogues.org/dialogue/39246/
Nourishing Schools Foundation’s mission is to help children take charge of tackling malnutrition. It has worked with over 230 schools in India on this, reaching over 60,000 children. It has also collaborated with governments, such as the Government of Rajasthan and the Central Government’s Eat Right India initiative.
For more information, please visit: https://www.nourishingschools.org/