Singapore, 15 June 2021 - Beneficiaries of Healthy with KidSTART, a nutrition programme for young children, will continue to be supported with fresh produce and resources on healthy eating this year. Prudential Singapore (“Prudential”) and KidSTART Singapore Ltd ("KidSTART") have extended their collaboration for another year (from May 2021) which will see around 1,300 families benefitting from the programme, an increase from 800 last year.
Since 11 May 2021, the programme’s beneficiaries have been receiving fresh produce deliveries and guidance on preparing healthy meals. The initiative continues even as the heightened COVID-19 safety measures kicked in on 16 May 2021.
Mr Dennis Tan, CEO of Prudential Singapore, said that by extending the programme, Prudential aims to provide a foundation for more parents to instill healthy eating habits in their children.
Children need the right nutrition during their early years as this is the period when they grow rapidly and develop their faculties. They also form food preferences, which in turn affect behaviour and overall health. These habits are hard to change later in life, making intervention in the early years critical1.
“We want to see families with young children adopt healthy lifestyles as early as possible, and Healthy with KidSTART brings this vision to life. Parents are taught the basics of nutrition and given the resources to make healthy living a reality for their families. By driving greater awareness around the importance of early childhood nutrition and healthy eating, we can help bridge the ‘health gap’ in our community,” said Mr Tan.
With safe distancing measures adhered to, Prudential employees and financial consultants are volunteering to assemble and distribute the care packs to the beneficiaries. Each care pack includes fresh fruits and vegetables as well as a recipe card with instructions to prepare simple, cost-effective and healthy meals using ingredients included in the pack. The recipe cards are curated by Ms Charlotte Mei, a nutritionist accredited by the Singapore Nutrition and Dietetics Association, who has been engaged by Prudential for this programme.
In addition, each family is receiving a “Healthy Plate” to help them prepare a well-balanced meal. A “Healthy Plate” is a model plate that depicts the recommended proportion of the major food groups - carbohydrates, proteins, vegetables and fruits – in an ideal meal. The plates have been produced in consultation with KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital and KidSTART. They are modelled after the Health Promotion Board’s “My Healthy Plate” which serves as a guide for a healthier and well-balanced diet. A total of 2,000 plates will be distributed by the end of the year, with each child in the programme receiving a plate.
Prudential will also be hosting a series of online workshops throughout the year that will be conducted by Ms Charlotte Mei for the families and the volunteers. The workshops are aimed at providing the families and Prudential volunteers continuous guidance on healthy cooking and eating.
Mdm Rahayu Buang, CEO of KidSTART Singapore Limited, said: “We are delighted to extend the partnership with Prudential Singapore to bring the “Healthy with KidSTART” programme to even more KidSTART families. Many families have enjoyed the healthy food items and the useful tips shared to create tasty and nutritious meals. Some were even introduced to new types of fruits and vegetables that their young children now enjoy.
“The Healthy Plate will be a good guide for families to prepare well-balanced meals for their children. We hope that through the programme, more KidSTART families will form healthy eating habits which will give them a good start in life.”
Ms Nadia Nabiha Binte Dudy Widjaya, 29, a beneficiary of the KidSTART programme, and a mother of four children, is looking forward to receiving another fresh food pack this year.
“The fresh food received helped my family to save on our daily expenses, which in turn allowed us to spend more on other urgent needs such as medical bills and transportation fees. My children loved the carrots, cabbage, potatoes and fruits included in the pack, and even my husband is enjoying the vegetables! I am very grateful for the Healthy with KidSTART initiative and look forward to the next distribution drive for us to enjoy more fresh and healthy food.”
Ms Siti Marliana Binte Eunos, 32, another KidSTART beneficiary, also shared, “My family is grateful for all the fresh fruits and vegetables that we have received from the Healthy with KidSTART initiative. The recipes have benefitted me a lot as my children now love eating potatoes, fruits and vegetables in their dishes. Everything in the pack was fresh and delicious. Even during the recent Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) when people were encouraged to stay home, my children were able to enjoy fresh food without me needing to head out for grocery shopping.”
Prudential employee, Ms Ariel Ong, a regular volunteer at the insurer’s community activities, enjoyed taking part in a packing session of the food items with fellow volunteers before Safe Distancing Measures under Phase Two (Heightened Alert) were announced on 14 May 2021.
“It was both fun and informative to assemble the care packs of fresh produce, recipe cards and the Healthy Plate. As a mother of two growing children, I know the importance and the challenges of putting healthy food on the table every day. I hope the parents of the beneficiaries feel more encouraged to cultivate healthier eating habits in their families,” she said.
Last year, Healthy with KidSTART households each received a care pack of healthy food items such as milk and multi-vitamins along with resources on early childhood nutrition. Families with greater food security needs received an additional supply of fresh produce between October 2020 and April 2021.
Healthy with KidSTART is part of KidSTART’s Growing Together with KidSTART initiative launched by the Ministry of Social and Family Development in 2019. Prudential has partnered KidSTART since March 2018, starting with the Grow and Learn Kids’ Carnival in Jalan Bukit Merah, where Prudential first engaged with KidSTART families. Over the past few years, this engagement has expanded to include employee volunteer support at weekly KidSTART groups, financial literacy sessions for KidSTART children, and the provision of tablets and laptops to enable KidSTART children to carry out home-based learning during the Circuit Breaker period.
Notes to the editor:
About Prudential Assurance Company Singapore (Pte) Ltd (Prudential Singapore)
Prudential Assurance Company Singapore (Pte) Ltd is one of the top life insurance companies in Singapore, serving the financial and protection needs of the country’s citizens for 89 years. The company has an AA- Financial Strength Rating from leading credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s, with S$49.3 billion funds under management as at 31 December 2020. It delivers a suite of well-rounded product offerings in Protection, Savings and Investment through multiple distribution channels including a network of more than 5,000 financial consultants.
KidSTART Singapore Ltd. is a dedicated agency that provides upstream support to eligible children up to 6 years old and their families. We seek to give children a good start in life by empowering low-income families to build strong foundations for their children and fostering positive child development outcomes. Research has shown that experiences in a child’s early years can significantly influence his physical, cognitive and social development, and these have an impact on his lifelong outcomes.
Under KidSTART, we provide support for child development, coordinate and strengthen holistic services for families where needed, and monitor the developmental progress of children from birth onwards. Parents on KidSTART will be guided with skills and knowledge where their children can benefit from warm and nurturing relationships, achieve age-appropriate and holistic child development, and have a safe and secure home environment to grow up in.
Click here for more information on KidSTART.
About Growing Together with KidSTART
In 2019, Minister Desmond Lee announced the “Growing Together with KidSTART” initiative which aims to invite corporates and individuals to partner specific local KidSTART communities over a sustained period, through regular volunteering and/or contributions.
Building sustained partnerships with the community play a big part in bringing about better outcomes for KidSTART children and our families.
Click here for more information on Growing Together with KidSTART.