The mission of the Nutrition and Metabolsim Division of the Ministry of Health is to promote healthy lifestyles by providing high quality nutrition education, through sustainable and evidence-based public health nutrition programmes & dietetic services to the population of Trinidad and Tobago, guided by established policies and best-practice standards. The division is currently headed by a Chief Nutritionist and consists of Food Demonstrators who conduct visits and provide education to mainly community health centres and clinics, public sector audiences such as other ministries and schools, and special non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The division is currently primarily geared towards encouraging healthy eating habits and lifestyles by promoting the development of food preparation skills of individuals. Core Functions of the Nutrition and Metabolism Division To provide nutrition education, food demonstrators, and displays to encourage the public to participate in food preparation activities to meet their nutritional needs. The Division also participates in Nutritional surveys. Target Group The public (particularly low income families), ante-natal clinics, child welfare clinics, chronic disease clinics, public sector workplaces and schools.
- Advice, lectures, demonstrations, preparation and cooking of local foods at health centres as it relates to the six food groups. Clients are visited at Ante-Natal Clinics, Child Welfare Clinics and Chronic Diseases Clinics.
- Produce food displays as it relates to feeding all family members (0 - 100 years) from the family pot.
- Provides sound nutritional advice to the public as it relates to their health and their families. Ensuring that the public, especially the low income members, are aware of how they can provide well balanced meals, using the six food groups, for their family regardless of age or health status.
- Preventative programmes which includes wellness classes, with the aim of promoting Primary Health Care. Preventative initiatives include: consumer education, healthy cooking classes for special interest community groups.
- Coordinating national training and development seminars for Dietitians, Nutritionists, Food Demonstrators and other Health Professionals.
- Creation and dissemination of culturally appropriate nutrition educational materials to the public.
KEY PRIORITY AREAS OF THE NUTRITION & METABOLISM DIVISION (fiscal 2018 and 2019)
- Nutrition Policies and Nutrition Programmes
- Maternal, Infant & Young Child Nutrition Policies to guide Surveillance activities
- School Nutrition Standards
- Childhood Obesity Prevention Policy and Programs including camp-based activities: (merging of teaching cooking skills with nutrition education)
- National Food & Nutrition Policy, inclusive of Food-Based Dietary Guidelines/Recommendations
- Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative – Public Hospitals certification and accreditation (in order for public hospitals to become key advocates and centres for breastfeeding support.)
- Workplace Nutrition & Wellness Programmes – for Ministry of Health Staff and other Ministries
- School Nutrition Education Programmes – pre-school, primary schools, secondary schools and tertiary education institutions
- Basic Nutrition Literacy programs for students, school staff and parents (currently due to be piloted in primary/secondary schools by the next fiscal year)
- Institutional (Hospital) and Community Nutrition & Dietetics
Nutrition & Metabolism Division
Ministry of Health Special Services & Programmes Building (next to the Dental Building)
Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex
Uriah Butler Highway