During the official visit of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the Republic of Latvia, First Lady Olena Zelenska visited Secondary School № 49 in Riga and got acquainted with the approach to organization of nutrition and physical education of children in schools in Latvia.
The visit to the Secondary School of Latvia was included in the program at the personal initiative of the President's wife. One of her priorities as First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska sees reforming the nutrition and physical education of schoolchildren as a key to the health of future generations of Ukrainians. She is actively studying the approaches and experiences of other countries in this field.
“Five days a week, our children eat at school, and what they eat directly affects their health. Ensuring and controlling the quality and usefulness of school meals should be a top priority.I also saw that a large number of children find school food tasteless and replace a full meal with snacks. We need to find a comprehensive solution to make school nutrition not only healthy but also tasty and to start forming healthy eating habits for children,”Olena Zelenska said.
First Lady inspected a school cafeteria, got acquainted with the menu and approaches to its formation, discussed with the school management initiatives to promote healthy eating among children and parents.
The President's wife also attended a physical education lesson. The school curriculum in this discipline provides individual physical education lessons for boys and girls starting in the fifth grade, which allows to take into account the degree of physical development of children and to find the right level of physical activity. Olena Zelenska noted the special attitude to the sport from the teachers and students. There are sporting events and competitions between classes at school, students participate not only in urban, but also in national and even international sports competitions, taking prize places. Riga School No. 49 is considered to be one of the most sports in Latvia and sports became a part of school culture.
First Lady was amazed at the richness and variety of activities offered to children within the school curriculum, as well as the amount of attention and effort on the part of the school and local authorities to popularize sports among students.
“Gym class should not be confined to the thoughtless passing the standards. It should form the desire and habit of children for a healthy lifestyle, motivate them to exercise. That's the kind of attitude I used to see in physical education at your school,” First Lady said.
“Your successful example is very useful for me, because the improvement of physical education lessons in Ukrainian schools will be another priority. It will help to maintain the health of Ukrainian childhood together with a healthy diet ”, she added.