Food-based dietary guidelines

Food-based dietary guidelines - Grenada

Official name

Healthy Choices for Healthy Living - Guidelines for Grenada

Publication year

Grenada published its first set of dietary guidelines in 2006. A revised and updated version of the guidelines was launched in 2020.

Stakeholder involvement

The process of revising and updating the guidelines was led by the Grenada Food and Nutrition Council (GFNC) (under the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands and Forestry) and supported by a task force that included representatives from the Ministries of Education and Agriculture, Lands and Forestry, GFNC, FAO, Grenada Media Association and Inter-Agency Group of Development Organizations.

The guidelines were endorsed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands and Forestry in February 2020.

Products, Resources and Target audiences

Products

Target audience

Brief (through Ministry of Agriculture, Lands and Forestry)

Cabinet

Technical Document

Government Ministries, Public

Facilitators Manual

Nurses, teachers, youth leaders, educators, etc.

Training Plan

Trained Facilitators: Nurses, teachers, youth leaders, educators, etc.

Implementation Plan

Government Ministries and other stakeholders

Snakes and Ladders game

School-aged children

Activity booklets

School-aged children: Kindergarten, 5-9 years, 10-16 years

Brochure

Adolescents and adults

Posters

General population: schools at all levels, government and private clinics, day care centres

Bill Boards(4)

General population: Two on mainland Grenada and one each on the sister Isles of Carriacou and Petite Martinique

FBDG Conversation map

General population: For use in group settings

Animated Video

General population

Development process

The objectives of the dietary guidelines are to:

  • promote healthy food consumption 
  • promote healthy food choices 
  • educate on appropriate food preparation methods 
  • improve the knowledge, attitudes, and practices as it relates to nutrition and healthy lifestyles

The revision of the guidelines began in April 2017 and was completed in October 2019. A Planning Committee was established, led by the GFNC, and comprised 25 members with representation from the public sector (agriculture, health, education, trade, social development, Marketing and National Importing Board, etc.) and from the non-state sector (NGOs, academia, Conferences of Churches, Grenada Public Health Association, Grenada Media Association, Grenada Chamber of Industry and Commerce, etc.).

A presentation was made on the background of the dietary guidelines and a review of the current health and nutrition situation in Grenada, using data collected from local surveys and from the Ministry of Health, through the public health institutions. Identified problems were prioritized in terms of their scope and impact, the feasibility of solving them, associated risk factors and associated dietary practices. Other areas that were explored included: critical nutrients, critical foods, and food consumption patterns (practices, habits and beliefs).

Technical recommendations were tested among the general population to assess people’s understanding of the messages, the acceptability of the messages and the feasibility of adherence to the messages.

Implementation

The Ministry of Agriculture, Lands and Forestry, through the GFNC, is responsible for the implementation of the dietary guidelines in the country.

The main objective of the implementation plan is to inform the public about the dietary guidelines messages using different channels and communication materials. The main strategies to be used are (1) training facilitators in the health, education, youth and agriculture sectors, and (2) carrying out education sessions in communities, clinics, schools, churches, etc. The GFNC plans to train 200 facilitators throughout the country.

As of June 2022, 90 people have been trained on the guidelines. Nurses trained in Grenada have carried our further trainings, emphasizing the health benefits of locally produced foods and providing guidance on foods that need to be produced to address population health and ensure both availability and accessibility of healthy local foods.

The GFNC, Ministries of Education, Health and Youth (in Carriacou), religious centres, the SAEP Programme and mass media have so far been engaged in the implementation of the dietary guidelines. There are plans to also engage professional organizations, the Ministry of Social Development and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Evaluation

There is currently no official monitoring and evaluation plan for the guidelines in Grenada. However, there are plans to conduct out a Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) evaluation after five years of implementing the guidelines.

Food guide

The graphical representation of the guidelines is a nutmeg. Six food groups are displayed in the recommended proportions which they are supposed to be consumed:

  • Vegetables (25%)
  • Staples (23%)
  • Fruits (20%)
  • Peas, beans and nuts (15%)
  • Foods from animals (13%)
  • Fats and Oils (4%)

The graphic also includes images to promote drinking water, engaging in physical activity, and foods to avoid.

Messages

Choose Healthy Foods

  • Let’s eat healthy. Enjoy a variety of natural and safe foods every day
  • Eat fresh vegetables and fruit every day. Grow what you eat and eat what you grow.
  • Flavour foods with local fresh seasoning and spices, it’s the healthier choice.
  • Drink more water every day, it helps your body function better.
  • Avoid highly processed foods, snacks and drinks; they are high in fat, salt and sugar.

Choose Healthy Lifestyles

  • Be active! Get moving every day; it makes you look and feel better.

  • Create healthier ways to prepare our traditional dishes.
  • Make time to prepare, share and enjoy healthy family meals.

Sustainability

For the Grenadian dietary guidelines, sustainability is defined as availability and accessibility of foods that are being proposed for consumption in the guidelines. Facilitators are also trained to focus on the health benefits of locally produced foods.

The messages of the guidelines were tested among a broad cross-section of the population to address varying socio-economic status and age groups. Respondents mentioned socio-economic issues impeded their abilities to make healthier choices due to constraints of time, cultural changes and access. Changes in family dynamics, labour force changes, cultural shifts including changes in the agrarian culture and financial ability to access healthy foods are the most limiting factors.