Scheme helps needy kids eat healthier

800 families to each get care pack of healthy food items, access to portal with nutrition tips

Minister of State for Social and Family Development and Education Sun Xueling and Prudential Singapore's chief executive Dennis Tan taking part in a cook-off session at the launch of the Healthy with KidStart programme yesterday. PHOTO: PRUDENTIAL SI
Minister of State for Social and Family Development and Education Sun Xueling and Prudential Singapore's chief executive Dennis Tan taking part in a cook-off session at the launch of the Healthy with KidStart programme yesterday. PHOTO: PRUDENTIAL SINGAPORE

A new initiative was launched yesterday to help about 800 families better prepare meals for their children.

The families will each receive a care pack of healthy food items, including food for babies and for children of pre-school age, such as multigrain baby puffs, multivitamins and milk.

The initiative, called Healthy with KidStart, is a collaboration between insurer Prudential Singapore and the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA).

Of the 800 families, 120 were also supplied with fresh fruit and vegetables last month and will continue to receive them this month and next.

Minister of State for Social and Family Development and Education Sun Xueling, who attended the launch at Prudential's office at Marina One, took part in a cook-off with Prudential Singapore chief executive officer Dennis Tan.

Ms Sun made a cucumber and egg pita pocket while Mr Tan made a vegetable and tuna sandwich.

The 800 families are under ECDA's KidStart programme, which provides child development, health and social support for low-income families with children below the age of seven.

Prudential is one of the community partners that ECDA works with to provide additional support for KidStart families under the Growing Together with KidStart initiative.

The 800 families will also be given access to online platform Pulse Communities, where they can obtain information on health and nutrition, as well as watch videos on preparing simple recipes and get tips on buying the right food for young children.

The families can also use the portal to interact with Prudential volunteers to share ideas on healthy living and encourage one another to cook and to eat well.

Ms Sun said: "KidStart was launched to give our young children a good start in life, and Healthy with KidStart is an apt extension of what we want to achieve.

"This programme not only provides tangible benefits such as healthy food, but also builds up the 'heartware' through a social platform for KidStart families and the community to come together and support one another."

Mr Tan said Prudential is committed to helping the community live well for longer, and that begins with helping the very young build a strong foundation.

The Healthy with KidStart programme is also supported by ground-up initiative Masks Sewn with Love, delivery company Lalamove and social enterprise cloud kitchen The Social Kitchen.

Masks Sewn with Love will be providing adult and child masks in the care packs while Lalamove will deliver the packages with Prudential volunteers. The Social Kitchen supplies the fresh produce for the 120 KidStart families.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 07, 2020, with the headline 'Scheme helps needy kids eat healthier'. Subscribe