Mothers in developing-world communities usually work with raw ingredients as they prepare meals for their families, so they don’t have the aid of nutrition panels like those on packaged food in the U.S. to make wise choices.
In sponsorship projects around the world, World Vision provides a helping hand for hardworking moms. Nutrition workshops equip them to use readily available ingredients in cooking well-balanced meals for their families. Trainers explain the value of different nutrients in locally grown food and encourage the right mix of protein, carbohydrates, fats, and micronutrients.
Here are some of the mouth-watering results of these workshops.
In Busia, Uganda, World Vision convenes mothers of young children to participate in the Positive Deviance Hearth program, which leverages positive local customs and foods. The women contribute the food they have, and trainers help them discover how to make the most nutritious meal for all their children.
“In this community, people did not know they could improve their children’s diets with local food,” says World Vision-trained health assistant Evans Bwire. “Since we introduced this model, there is a very big difference.” The healthy ingredients in this session include fish, cassava, eggplant, bananas, beans, tomatoes, and leafy greens — all of which are affordable and easy to find locally.
Every school day, 11-year-old Swe Lei Hnin Thwe’s grandmother packs her a nutritious lunch. “I’ve been trained through workshops and talks from World Vision on how to include the three main ingredients in the meal—for strength, growth, and resistance,” says Swe’s grandmother, who is the only family for Swe since the girl’s mother left three years ago. Swe’s grandmother provides meat, greens, and starch whenever possible for Swe, a sponsored child. Today’s lunch is a good example: potato with curry, fried watercress, and chicken with rice.
The secret ingredient in Faustina Jaimez’ dishes? Sangracita — chicken blood — full of iron to combat anemia, a problem among children in Chancay, Peru. The mother of three (including a sponsored child) learned this tip in a World Vision nutrition workshop. Faustina prefers to draw the blood fresh from the chicken, boil it, and mix it into the makings of her spinach noodles and salad, served with chicken liver. Even her cupcakes with chocolate frosting have sangracita hidden in each delicious bite. “The kids can’t tell,” she smiles.
Nine-year-old sponsored child Co Thi Sam comes home from school in Quang Nam province, Vietnam, to enjoy lunch with her mother and kindergarten-age brother. Sam’s parents received World Vision training on a variety of topics: planting wet rice (a staple), home gardening, nutrition education, and animal husbandry. All of which is reflected in today’s lunch of rice, eels fried with ginger and citronella, boiled vegetables, “buffalo-horn” rice cakes, bananas, vegetable soup, sugarcane, and water from their gravity-fed water tap.