Kellogg on warpath to combat India’s malnutrition by providing a Bright Start to the day for underprivileged kids

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Malnutrition and morning hunger is prevelent among Indian children. Pic: GettyImages/jaimaa84
Malnutrition and morning hunger is prevelent among Indian children. Pic: GettyImages/jaimaa84

Related tags Kellogg company India Malnutrition Children

Kellogg India is collaborating with The Breakfast Revolution (TBR) and Sesame Workshop India (SWI) in an initiative to provide nutritious breakfasts to 100,000 children by 2022.

The breakfast cereal giant has committed to ‘Nourishing India’s Potential’ and has teamed up with the two non-profit organisations to debut the Bright Start programme by providing nourishing breakfasts to almost 6,000 kids based in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

According to TBR – which is the implementation partner of the Bright Start initiative at the coalface – 80% of Indian children do not eat breakfast, with the midday meal served in schools being the first meal of the day.”

Pankaj Jethwani, co-founder of TBR, said, “India is in the mid of a malnutrition epidemic. 80% of our children suffer from ‘hidden hunger’ [micronutrient deficiency] and more than a third of our children are underweight. This leads to reduced learning (by 20%) and lifelong productivity (by 10%). Bright Start is helping unlock the true potential of India’s future, our children.”

Sonali Khan, MD of SWI, added, “Eating habits established early, in the years when brain growth is most rapid, have consequences through life.

“Our research in Dharavi shows that caregivers know that children need to eat well to be healthy but few are aware that skipping or skimping breakfast can actually affect a child’s ability to learn at school.

“They were pleasantly surprised to learn that it is quite easy to increase the nutritional value of the morning meal with resources they have at hand. These small changes can make an incremental difference to a child’s wellbeing and abilities over time.”

No child should start the day on an empty stomach

Kellogg’s Bright Start cereal is packed with protein, calcium, iron and zinc, as well as fortified with key vitamins B and C.

“We believe no child should face the day on an empty stomach, as morning hunger is the enemy of learning,”​ said Mohit Anand, MD, Kellogg India.

“A child’s future starts with a nutritious breakfast. It’s not just the most important meal of the day, it’s the most important meal in their life … and we hope to provide them with an equal opportunity at learning and meeting their aspirations and together nourish their potential.”

The partners see the rollout of 5,764 nutritious breakfasts to kids in need as the beginning of a movement that will reach many more children over time. Along with their resolve to train families to harness and hold on to the benefits of nutrition through simple habits like hand-washing, they aim to empower communities to break an intergenerational cycle of malnutrition.

Decimal Foundation is a registered non-profit trust that runs The Breakfast Revolution, a five-year-old non-profit programme working to fight malnutrition and morning hunger in India.

Sesame Workshop – the non-profit educational organisation behind Sesame Street – reaches over 180 million children across more than 150 countries through research-based education designed to make them stronger and smarter.

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