Breakfast for Kindergarten schoolgirls in Pakistan

by Zindagi Trust Vetted since 2009 Top Ranked Effective Nonprofit
Breakfast for Kindergarten schoolgirls in Pakistan
Breakfast for Kindergarten schoolgirls in Pakistan
Breakfast for Kindergarten schoolgirls in Pakistan
Breakfast for Kindergarten schoolgirls in Pakistan
Breakfast for Kindergarten schoolgirls in Pakistan
Breakfast for Kindergarten schoolgirls in Pakistan
Breakfast for Kindergarten schoolgirls in Pakistan
Breakfast for Kindergarten schoolgirls in Pakistan
Breakfast for Kindergarten schoolgirls in Pakistan
Breakfast for Kindergarten schoolgirls in Pakistan
Breakfast Hall at KPS
Breakfast Hall at KPS

Schools recommenced in the month of August after a two and a half month summer break. The school management came back to school with renewed energy to take on new challenges. As the breakfast program continued to serve nutritious local meals to their little elementary school students they observed that many students were showing resistance towards eating the fruit that was being served. Given the importance of fruit in our daily diets, the managements decided to try new things to encourage the students to also eat fruit with the same enthusiasm as other foods. Firstly, the number of days fruit is being served was increased. Now, four out of six days, some fruit is being served to students either whole, as shakes or mixed in their porridge. Students especially liked banana and mango shakes. Moreover, the school nurse who oversees breakfast counseled students about the importance and benefits of having various fruits in their diets. Slowly but surely, students are seen completing their entire meals on their own including the fruit!

At Khatoon e Pakistan Government Girls School (KPS), breakfast is served to students of Kindergarten, first grade and second grade totaling 200 students. However, due to its larger student body, SMB Fatima Jinnah Government Girls School (SMB) is currently only able to serve breakfast to their 278 kindergarten students.

During this quarter, SMB’s students were served bread, jam, butter, pancake, boiled eggs, omelet with chapatti, cooked or fried ladyfinger (or other vegetables) with chapatti and yogurt, boiled potatoes, chickpeas, biscuits, sandwiches, fruit salad, french toast, kidney beans, potato cutlets, raw vegetables and wheat porridge. Milk remains a daily feature in the menu.

KPS is currently serving  dates, milk, yoghurt, porridge, fruits, vegetables, chickpeas, eggs, milk shakes, wheat porridge (mixed with dates, milk and sliced bananas) and wheat flat bread (served with a mix of butter and dates). Sweet potato, spinach, and bottle gourd, fresh from our school vegetable garden, is also being served.

Speaking of the school vegetable garden, which we introduced to you in the last report, KPS is now growing Brinjal/eggplant and serving it to students. Various vegetable seeds have been planted which will be ready to serve students during the next quarter. Measures are being taken to protect the vegetables from pests. An environment club has been initiated which comprises of 30 students. These students are growing their own vegetables and fruits, composting using school kitchen and garden waste and learning to take care of their environment. Awareness of health, nutrition and environment are being integrated.  

The Breakfast program has done wonders. It has brought about a heartening improvement in the development and health of our young students. Teachers and staff report a decrease in absenteeism, fainting due to malnutrition, yawning during the class, and diminished concentration in studies and sports.

The provision of breakfast has also tremendously boosted student admissions in the Early Childhood Development grades (ECD) at SMB. Visitors comment very positively on providing hot-meals to the young kids. The parents of newly admitted kids were especially very happy and overwhelmed by this facility at school and appreciated the efforts of the management and the concept of having healthy food. These newly admitted kids will hopefully uphold having breakfast every morning and inculcate the tradition of regular and healthy breakfast at their homes.

We are especially happy to hear that the breakfast program is making waves outside of school. The message of having a good breakfast has travelled to the community and kids who have moved to higher grades have been asking their parents to make similar breakfast for them at home. “I miss the breakfast of KG II; we used to get new yummy dishes every day.” Said Areeba Hussein of grade 1-B. Iqra Rizwan of 1-D said, “Our KG breakfast introduced us to very healthy breakfast items and I ask my parents to make the same for me for in the morning”.

Please consider making a donation to our breakfast program to continue supporting nutritious meals for children in Pakistan’s public schools

Milk and fruits
Milk and fruits
Breakfast hall at SMB
Breakfast hall at SMB

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Waiting in line for their bowl of fruit salad!
Waiting in line for their bowl of fruit salad!

As we reported previously, much to Karachi's dismay, winter ended too soon! The warmer season pushed its way in relentlessly and culminated into a heat wave in May, a two week chapter that recently just closed. However, the Breakfast program at Zindagi Trust's adopted schools likes to see things positively. For them, the changing season  meant getting into action, turning on their creative minds, and renewing the menu with yummier, more nutritious, and climate appropriate items for our elementary grade students.

The current menu at SMB Fatima Jinnah Government Girls School comprises homemade omelet with chapatti, boiled eggs, vegetable sandwiches, fried vegetable, spinach with chapatti, chick peas, pumpkin and sunflower seeds with fruit salad, wheat porridge with chicken and vegetables, vegetable soup, chicken soup, sweet porridge, and khitchri (lentil pilaf) with yogurt. Milk is served daily as usual.

The latest menu at Khatoon e Pakistan Government Girls School includes dates, milk, yoghurt, porridge, fruits, vegetables, chickpeas, eggs and milk shakes. Furthermore, wheat porridge (mixed with dates, milk and sliced bananas) and wheat flat bread (served with a mix of butter and dates spread) were also introduced. Most excitingly, harvests from the school's vegetable garden are now also being served for breakfast. These included sweet potato, spinach, and bottle gourd.

Our vision for the breakfast program is about inculcating healthy living habits in our students and we like to take this value beyond the breakfast room. We do not see the breakfast program in isolation from the rest of a students' intellectual development. As such, for long term impact we have involved the school nurse, the gardeners, science teachers, canteen management and parents in the process of implementing the breakfast program.

For example, the school nurse  plays an instrumental role in instilling values of health. In the past couple of months brief sessions were conducted by the nurse with pre-primary students during breakfast time regarding healthy eating. Before breakfast started, students were made to line up and wash their hands properly. They were told about the benefits and method of proper hand washing and teeth brushing. She also identifies students who are reluctant to eat and talks to them. Furthermore, the school nurse collaborates with school administration and canteen staff to ensure that a healthy variety of items is available in the canteen so that the same message of healthy eating is affirmed by everyone at school.

On Earth day, teachers and gardeners took students to the vegetable garden and allowed them to the explore the process of growing food. Students walked around and spotted vegetables growing at different stages and watered the crops as well. We hope that such a practice allows students to develop respect and an appreciation for the earth and the food that it gives us.

At Khatoon e Pakistan, breakfast is served to students of Kindergarten, first grade and second grade totaling 200 students. However, due to its larger student body, SMB Fatima Jinnah is currently only able to serve breakfast to their 266 kindergarten students. Although students are happy to be growing up and moving on to higher grades they really miss starting their day with the breakfast “class.” AT SMB, First grade students repeatedly ask their teachers about the breakfast program which they had grown to love. Breakfast had fast become an activity for them that not only provided them with a healthy delicious meal— which they probably otherwise would not eat— but also an opportunity for social interaction and learning eating etiquettes. The current KG 2 students who will be promoted to the first grade from April are being mentally prepared, along with their parents, to bring home-made nutritious meals to eat in lunch break. The provision of breakfast has really boosted student admissions in the Early Childhood Development grades (ECD) at SMB which we are glad to see.

The Breakfast program is no doubt a hit. All visitors comment very positively on providing hot-meals to the young kids. The parents of newly admitted kids were specially very happy and overwhelmed by this facility at school and appreciated the efforts of the management and the concept of having healthy food. These newly admitted kids will hopefully uphold having breakfast every morning and inculcate the tradition of regular and healthy breakfast at their homes.

Please consider making a donation to our breakfast program to continue supporting nutritious meals for children in Pakistan’s public schools!

Watering the vegetable Garden
Watering the vegetable Garden
Student
Student's discovering fresh produce in the garden
Kitchen in charge helping students
Kitchen in charge helping students

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Steel Utensils!
Steel Utensils!

At the onset of winter in Karachi, the team at Khatoon-e-Pakistan Government Girls School (KPS) sat down to plan the breakfast menu for the new season. Warming foods such as boiled eggs and methi paratha (a type of flat bread with leafy greens) were added to the menu and cooling foods such as yogurt were eliminated. At SMB Fatima Jinnah Government Girls School, a delicious vegetable pulao (pilaf) was brought on board alongside the diverse mouth-watering regular menu: Spinach or lady finger with chapatti (local flatbread), boiled red beans, omelets with chapatti, mung bean halva, khichdi (rice and lentil pilaf) with yogurt, vegetable soup, boiled eggs, boiled potatoes, wheat porridge, potato kabab, fried vegetable with chapatti, vegetable and fruit salad, sago pudding and chickpeas. Milk is served daily as usual.

As Karachi’s short winter came to a close at the end of February, the schools sat down once again to re-assess how the meals could be made more nutritious, delicious and efficient to prepare and serve. Yogurt, a classic source of vitamins and minerals was gladly brought back, this time being served with seasonal fruits.

A few wonderful changes took place at KPS. Stainless steel crockery replaced plastic crockery in the breakfast room. One of the teachers, Amtul Lateef, took the initiative to sponsor this change and was successful in raising funds to replace all the plastic plates, bowls and spoons with stainless steel options. She felt strongly that our students should not be eating from plastic and melamine which have been shown to leach harmful chemicals specially when heated and hamper the development of young children. Stainless steel, apart from being safer, is also reusable, more durable and environment-friendly. Way to go Amtul!

Learning from our success in introducing our students to a healthy breakfast, we took on the challenge of improving the nutritional value of the offerings at the school canteen/cafeteria, where students had been observed buying unhealthy items like chips and cookies for lunch. The school team at KPS met the independently-managed canteen staff and encouraged them to adapt their menu to inculcate the value of healthy eating across the school. The first step in this regard has been to add one healthy item every week. New additions to the canteen under this initiative include daal chawal (rice and lentils), fruit salad, roasted sweet potato (a popular seasonal snack), kakri (a crunchy vegetable from the cucumber family), and popcorn. It is heartening to report that the students have responded positively to these healthy additions.

At KPS, breakfast is served to students of Kindergarten, first grade and second grade totaling 200 students. However, due to its larger student body, SMB is currently only able to serve breakfast to their 268 kindergarten students. Although students are happy to be growing up and moving on to higher grades they really miss starting their day with the breakfast “class.” First grade students repeatedly ask their teachers about the breakfast program which they grew to love. Breakfast had fast become an activity for them that not only provided them with a healthy delicious meal— which they probably otherwise would not eat— but also an opportunity for social interaction and learning eating etiquettes. The current KG 2 students who will be promoted to the first grade from April are being mentally prepared, along with their parents, to bring home-made nutritious meals to eat in lunch break. The provision of breakfast has really boosted student admissions in the Early Childhood Development grades (ECD) at SMB which we are glad to see.

Please consider making a donation to our breakfast program to continue supporting nutritious meals for children in Pakistan’s public schools!

Warming, delicious and nutritious methi paratha
Warming, delicious and nutritious methi paratha
Our girls at KPS
Our girls at KPS
Milk is served to the girls everyday
Milk is served to the girls everyday
Girls eating in the new safe utensils
Girls eating in the new safe utensils

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Breakfast Picture of Nomber.jpg
Breakfast Picture of Nomber.jpg

Last time we told you about expanding our free school breakfast program to 200 more children at Khatoon-e-Pakistan Government Girls School. This time we bring you updates exclusively from that school. In the last quarter, fruits and vegetables were added in different dishes served to students in an attempt to get students to develop healthier eating habits. Fresh fruit with natural yoghurt was a new item added to the breakfast for students and enjoyed by them. Whole wheat flour roti (flatbread) was prepared for 200 students thrice a week with spinach omelette, potato cutlets and stir-fried vegetables being rotated each day. Pulses were added to the menu since they are a rich source of protein and also familiar to the students being a staple at the dinner table at home for most of them.


The school management and the breakfast team re-assessed the breakfast menu for the winter with the goal being that we should ensure that every breakfast meal served to the students should be full of nutrition along with being healthy, delicious and efficient to prepare and serve. At the beginning of November, when the first of the cold Quetta winds arrived to Karachi, our team decided to add a new dish in the menu called Upma. It has a deep tradition in the sub-continent and is made from suji (semolina) and yogurt which are blended together with egg. Some vegetables were also added to make it more nutritional.

 

The students were not very keen on this new item on day one but as their teachers coached them about the nutritional value of an upma and encouraged them to give it a chnce, they started developing a taste for it and even demanding it for breakfast! This shows how much of an influence role models have on students and demonstrates that teachers and parents can play a positive role in shaping children's attitudes towards food preferences. This was an exciting realisation for the team and all of us are now even more motivated to explore variations of healthy meals to be added to the school meals program.


It has also been observed that students across the school have not been in a habit to eat a complete breakfast and thus skip what we think is the most important meal of the day. Teachers have to often force students to complete their
breakfast in the breakfast room. Keeping this in mind, the health teacher organized interactive morning assembly presentations conducted by students of multiple grades. Older students presented the importance of breakfast through entertaining skits. Younger students from primary classes talked about the nutritional values of different vegetables, pulses, fruits and dry fruits. The audience was also asked questions to ensure that they were actively listening and thinking about those benefits.

 

Please continue to support this program and share any ideas you may have for affordable, local and healthy menu options as we establish this program to fuel the brains that will shape Pakistan's future!


Author Name: Anam Palla, School Project Manager


Link: Zindagi Trust homepage

Breakfast Picture of November (1).jpg
Breakfast Picture of November (1).jpg
Breakfast Picture of November(2).jpg
Breakfast Picture of November(2).jpg
Breakfast Report of November(3).jpg
Breakfast Report of November(3).jpg
A student enjoys fruit salad
A student enjoys fruit salad

We have expanded our Breakfast Program to 200 more children at Khatoon-e-Pakistan Government Girls School (KPS), the second school we adopted under our School Reform project. In addition to the 250+ students of Kindergarten at SMB Fatima Jinnah Government School (SMB), we are now providing a daily breakfast to more than 200 students of Kindergarten, First and Second Grade at KPS.

From our experience at our first adopted school as well as from established practice around the world, we know that children who eat a nutritious breakfast have more energy, do better in school, and make healthier choices throughout the day. We are already reaping the benefits of breakfast at KPS - with both teachers and parents reporting a change in the students. The youngest students at school who used to be specially irritable, restless, tired and unable to focus on their lesson are now perceived to be taking keen interest in classroom activities.

“I find my students more active than before as a result of which they are able to give excellent class performance. The breakfast has really boosted their energy levels in a positive way,” remarked a Kindergarten teacher at KPS.

As with our first school SMB, the weekly breakfast menu at KPS has also been carefully developed with consideration given to nutritional value, availability of quality ingredients and an aim to develop a taste for a wide variety of foods in our students. Special attention is paid to the maintenance of hygiene standards in the kitchen. Some of the items featured on the KPS menu include different varieties of eggs (scrambled, boiled, half boiled egg), fruit and bean salad, oats, porridge, milkshakes, dates, chickpea salad and homemade chapati along with different vegetables.We are also happy to report that the student have now started to love sago in milk or milkshakes.

At SMB, the previous quarter's additions to the menu such as whole wheat chapatis and porridge are going strong. A new addition this month has been an elaborate fruit chaat or salad featuring cucumber, carrot, red beans, chickpeas, along with seasonal fruits and dates. Vegetables with chapati, yogurt and sago pudding or kheer was also introduced. Children are given information about every new item added to the menu so that they learn to recognize and appreciate it for the nutritional value, taste, origin, as well as the benefits of eating it.

Milk is served daily as usual at both the schools.

Please consider making a donation to this program to continue supporting breakfast to fuel the brains of tomorrow's world!

Omelette and Flatbread
Omelette and Flatbread
French toast treat day!
French toast treat day!
Breakfast chef Abida at work
Breakfast chef Abida at work

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Zindagi Trust

Location: Karachi, Sindh - Pakistan
Website: http:/​/​www.zindagitrust.org
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @zindagitrust
Project Leader:
Abdul Haque
CEO
Karachi, Sindh Pakistan
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