Public Health Nutritionist in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Stacia Whittaker spoke about the high quantities of sugar in the drinks commonly sold to children at the Vendors’ Training session yesterday.

BARVEN: We are putting Barbadian children first

President of the Barbados Association Of Retailers, Vendors and Entrepreneurs (BARVEN), Allister Alexander is putting the welfare of Barbadian children first.

He made these comments during the Vendors Training session hosted by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Barbados (HSFB) yesterday.

In the St. Michael School hall, Alexander said that his association will play its part in ensuring that children are healthy. The BARVEN President used the platform to voiced his view that there is a need for communication and accommodation.

“We must listen to the concern of the vendors with the implementation of the Programme and must practically address their concerns,” said Alexander.

Thirty-one vendors and canteen operators attended the training to learn the details of the Childhood Obesity Prevention Programme which will include the participation of six primary and secondary schools.

Vendors learn about health food options
Public Health Nutritionist in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Stacia Whittaker gave an interactive session which explored preparation of healthier foods options, examined current canteen choices, the reading nutrition labels, controlling sugar intake and introducing healthy “home-made” alternatives.

During the presentation, vendors revealed their challenges of providing healthy foods which were affordable and attractive to their young clients. One canteen vendor noted that he had some success introducing a healthier food while another indicated that she did not make any money on the day when she adjusted her menu with a healthier option.

Most vendors called for a restriction of foods which are unhealthy and a tax concession on healthier foods. Others said they wanted children to be educated about the healthier food options available to them.

Earlier, Programme Manager Of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Barbados, Francine Charles reminded the audience of the devastating impact of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in Barbados and the region and noted that the vendors and canteen operators are part of the solution.

“If we change, the environment will change,” said Charles.

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