Healthy Kids in Bulgaria is an educational program for balanced nutrition and physical activity at school, which was launched in 2012 in 10 schools in the capital and which attracted more than 3,500 families with children between the ages of 7 and 13 from two Sofia districts – Triaditsa and Studentski. Healthy Kids in Bulgaria is funded by Nestlé Bulgaria, developed jointly with the Bulgarian Association for the Study of Obesity and Related Diseases (BASORD) and supported by the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Health, Sofia Municipality, the Bulgarian Gymnastics Federation, the Bulgarian Athletics Federation, and Euro-Toques Bulgaria.

The program holds events and activities aimed at families and the society through the involvement of private and public partners. During the 2012-2013 academic year, the program’s animators held a number of fun and attractive lessons in a balanced diet, games and competitions at school and outdoors. Children were engaged through the use of diverse and interactive training and games. Their
interest in a balanced diet and sports was great. The lessons were supplemented by healthy cooking classes where children prepared a balanced school menu. In addition, students from 8 SOU “Vasil Levski”, 20 OU “Todor Minkov”, 41 SOU “St. Patriarch Evtimiy”, 47 SOU “Hristo G. Danov”, 55 SOU “Petko Karavelov”, 73 SOU “Vladislav the Grammarian”, 104 OU “Zahari Stoyanov”, 121 SOU “Georgi Izmirliev” and “St. George” private high-school participated in races “Fast, Brave, Skilled and Strong”, which were a combination of healthy cooking and sports.

As part of the program and in partnership with the Bulgarian Athletics Federation, Healthy Kids in Bulgaria is part of the international project IAAF Kids Athletics, and all schools in the program are included in the project and participate in athletics training and competitions for children. The first school that took part in the athletic initiative was 8 SOU “Vasil Levski”. Over 100 children and teachers
took part in the athletics games and competitions, and the chairman of the Bulgarian Athletics Federation Dobromir Karamarinov visited the children to give away awards and congratulate them.

By the end of the 2013-2014 academic year, more than 10 schools in Lyulin will participate in Healthy Kids in Bulgaria and the most active participants in the programme will have the opportunity to spend a week at the seaside, taking part in the second edition of the initiative “Health School for Children, Parents and Teachers” organized by BASORD under the patronage of Prof. Aneliya Klisarova, Minister of Education.

In 2012 Healthy Kids in Bulgaria became part of the European project EPHE (EPODE for the Promotion of Health Equity), funded by the European Commission and implemented in 7 European countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Portugal and Romania.

In Bulgaria, the project will expand the activities by incorporating information to promote the consumption of dairy products in households. Within the three-year project, which is implemented in the period 2012-2015, a pilot study is being conducted in seven cities in Europe to apply the methodology of the largest international network for the prevention of childhood obesity EPODE.