FSSAI has launched the “Yellow Book” as part of their Safe and Nutritious Foods (SNF) @ Schools initiative. The book was jointly launched by Dr. Vinod K. Paul, Member (Health), NITI Ayog and by the Chairperson, FSSAI in the presence of senior officials from the central ministries of Health and Family Welfare and state officials from various key organizations. FSSAI has launched this book for children with the intent to ensure a lifetime of healthy and safe food choices because habits inculcated in childhood, create adult behavioral patterns. Moreover, children can be powerful agents of change in the society and so FSSAI feels that children can take forward FSSAI’s Safe and Nutritious Foods (SNF) @ Schools initiative. The Yellow Book which will work as a guide for schools to provide safe and nutritious foods in schools.
The FSSAI has created the Yellow Book only after extensive discussions with various education boards like CBSE, NCERT, State Boards, and also with nutrition and education experts. The book has age-appropriate content and so the education machinery in the country can advise schools to make it a part of curricular or co-curricular activities. The Yellow Book covers topics like
- good food safety practices
- personal hygiene and cleanliness habits
- eating a balanced diet
- packing a wholesome lunchbox
- preventing nutritional deficiencies
- making healthy food choices
The book also contains useful tips and interesting activities for school children. It works as a guidebook as well as an activity book that can be used in conjunction with the school curriculum.
More than a100 representatives from central and state government, academia, school boards, voluntary organizations, and corporates have joined hands to help build the capacities of schools across the country to help children in schools adopt SNF habits. A number of food businesses have also come forward to help with the SNF initiative. Kellogg’s has offered to print and distribute 10,000 Yellow Books. ITC has already launched an IVRS based quiz on safe and nutritious food in eight languages in India. GSK has adopted 1000 schools across four states to promote safe and nutritious food. Mondelez has adopted 40 schools in North Delhi. Emami, Tetra Pak, Marico have taken up activation programmes across 1000 schools. PepsiCo has reached out to colleges to support ‘SNF Fellows’ under this initiative. The Rotary Club will soon begin working with 75,000 schools across India to incorporate the Yellow Book into school curricula.
FSSAI also launched a portal called the ‘School Engagement Platform’, which will provide online resource material. Schools have to just register here and all material will be made available to them so that they can undertake relevant activities for inculcating healthy food habits in children. The portal would also have an assessment framework to bring to notice ‘model schools’ that are pioneers in adopting the safe and nutritious school framework.
Additionally, an engagement platform has also been launched which will help to facilitate connections and coordination between various organizations and individuals who would like to take up this initiative. Interested stakeholders including civil society NGOs, corporates, development partners, mobilization agencies, training partners or philanthropists who wish to participate can enroll their names on the website and look up suitable projects which they could use to support voluntary or CSR initiatives.
At the launch of the ‘Yellow Book’ Mr. Ashish Bahuguna, Chairperson, FSSAI stated that the effort towards co-creating the culture of safe and wholesome food amongst schools with the support of education machinery would go a long way in preparing children to become real change agents. He said that these efforts would center on building a robust curriculum framework for easy adoption using digital solutions. These would also include enhancing capabilities of teachers through training mechanism and connecting them with like-minded stakeholders through a common platform. The aim is to ensure that the knowledge of SNF reaches the target population so that all can together achieve the vision of safe and healthy schools in our country.
Dr. Vinod Paul congratulated FSSAI for the valuable and noble thinking behind the SNF initiative and creation of the Yellow Book. He stated that ensuring good health should be the responsibility of the society and as well as individuals. Schools should be seen as natural partners for promoting health.