The Nourishing Schools toolkit allows for its easy adoption and implementation across schools. The process of designing this toolkit is collaborative, so that the organisations and schools that partner with us can adopt its modules effectively. For example, teachers and students can share their feedback to improve its success. They aren’t mere implementers, but stakeholders in its success.
Nourishing Schools provides the tool kit and support, but the true ownership of this programme and all credit for its success belong to school principals who want to ensure a better future for the children, teachers who want to empower as well as educate, and change makers who want to achieve sustainable improvements.
The Nourishing Schools toolkit has five components, each designed to fulfil a specific goal. They comprise different media and teaching aids, and complement each other to make this programme holistic.
Curriculum for nutrition:
This part of the toolkit comprises a manual for teachers, because they are just as important as the students in the success of the programme. By integrating healthy eating and hygiene habits into the school curriculum, students are exposed to habit-changing information on a daily basis. The programme co-opts the school staff in communicating these lessons through fun, easy-to-understand activities.
Design for nutrition:
Design – in the form of spaces, graphics and products – is used to improve lessons and increase the students’ participation. For example, games that make nutritious foods more appealing and do-it-yourself soap kits are some of the interesting ways in which Nourishing Schools engages with the children. These aid association and recall, implementation and help in better decision-making.
Content for nutrition:
We have collaborated with a group of talented artists and writers to engage with communities and create comic books and illustrations. Comic books are effective tools because a lecture is quickly forgotten, but a story remains in our cultural consciousness.
Mid Day Meal for nutrition:
Serving a nutritious and balanced meal for approx. Rs 5 per day per child is a daunting task. By developing low-cost nutritious recipes that are suited to local tastes and by training midday meal cooks to be partners in enabling children reach their full potential, we’re increasing the focus on nutrition in the mid day meal.
Community for nutrition:
Nourishing Schools can only reach its full potential if its effects are felt within the community. The behavioural changes brought about in schools can have a ripple effect through the larger social sphere. To support what is taught in schools, Nourishing Schools works with farming groups to encourage the cultivation of nutritious foods by linking them to increased incomes. This is combined with efforts to encourage their consumption such as by sharing local recipes and home remedies. This builds both the supply and the demand for nutritious foods.