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Home Food & Recipes This is the History of the Iconic 70's Snack, Nutribun

This is the History of the Iconic 70’s Snack, Nutribun

Why did the Philippine government invent the Nutribun? Here's your answer!

Earlier this month, the Department of Science and Technology – Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) announced that they will be reviving the 1970’s bread, Nutribun. But this time around, the popular government-provided children’s snack will be an ‘enhanced’ version— that is, created with healthier ingredients!

Last year, the department created the enhanced nutribuns using a squash puree to make them healthier. For this year, they began using carrots to introduce more Vitamin A to the classic snack. (Read: These Bite-Size Snacks Can Improve Work Productivity at Home)

But why exactly does nutribun exist, and where did it come from? Here’s a little history about the famed bread of the ’70s:

Government Feeding Program

nutribun-history
Nutribun as part of the relief efforts in the early 1970s. From the AID publication War on Hunger, October 1972. (Photo from VERA Files)

The nutribun was launched during the school year of 1970-1971 as part of the national government’s feeding program. The bread was created for elementary children enrolled in public schools to combat malnutrition in the country.

The nutribun was mainly wheat-based back in the 70s, and it was only intended for the undernourished children in the country. However, the enhanced version we now have can be eaten even by healthy Filipinos, according to DOST. (Read: DepEd to Relaunch School-Based Feeding Program Amid Pandemic)

“The product is not only good for young children but also for the other population groups, particularly, pregnant and lactating women, and our senior citizens. Even the well and healthy population need products like the enhanced nutribun,” Engr. Rosemarie G. Garcia, Chief Science Research Specialist of DOST-FNRI, said.

Nutrition in a Bun

nutribun-history
Photo from Michelle Zapata Facebook

The Nutribun Program was a collaboration between agencies from the Philippines and the United States, and a handful of local bakeries. The term “nutribun” is a wordplay on the phrase “nutrition in a bun,” which was the goal of the program.

During its first few years of production, an estimated 30 million nutribuns were made and given to 200,000 children.

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