TACLOBAN CITY, April 5 (PNA) – The Department of Education (DepEd) in this city will form a group to check the enforcement of a department order on healthy food and beverages sold in schools and DepEd offices.

Nilo Eder, DepEd Tacloban spokesperson, said the team will be created within this month. They will map out plans to check compliance on Department Order No. 13 issued on March 14, 2017 in time for the opening of the new school year in June.

The team is composed of DepEd division officials, teachers, parents and non-government organizations advocating for child nutrition.

“Having healthy learners can be achieved by making healthy, nutritious and affordable menu choices available (in schools),” Eder told PNA on Wednesday.

The policy and guidelines aim to make healthy food and beverage choices available for learners, DepEd personnel and other stakeholders. It also seeks to introduce a system of categorizing locally available foods and drinks in accordance with geographical, cultural and religious orientations.

The order also provides guidance in evaluating and categorizing foods and drinks, and sets standards in the selling and marketing of foods and beverages in schools and DepEd offices, including the purchase of foods for school feeding.

“Kids should be trained the earliest possible time to eat healthy food and there is no better place than in school. Inadequate nutrition impairs cognitive development and is associated with educational failure among impoverished children,” Eder said.

Monitoring of healthy food choices will be a part of the DepEd supervisor’s monthly report starting June this year. (PNA)