Anera Helps Raise Awareness about Good Nutrition
In the Kids of the Future Kindergarten, in central Gaza, a group of mothers listen attentively as health specialists explain the basics of healthy nutrition for kindergarteners.
The educational sessions are part of Anera’s Farms to Fosool program, which aims to raise awareness among parents in marginalized areas about proper nutrition and its importance for children’s health. The program also provides free meals for children.
Manar Swailem is a nutrition and public health specialist who works with the program. She presented some explanations and basic information about child nutrition and the nutrients that the youngsters need as they grow. She also pointed out some bad feeding practices and how they negatively impact a child's development.
The educational sessions were held in four kindergartens in disadvantaged areas of central and southern Gaza.
Some 40 mothers participated in the sessions. Manar was pleased with the turnout and the impact.
“I see how important these sessions are and how much they can provide positive reinforcement for families seeking healthier meals for their children.”
“I see how important these sessions are."
Daniela was amazed how much she learned about providing good nutritious meals for her seven children. The 34-year-old has a university degree and is now a full-time mother. She cares a lot about her children’s well-being.
"I feel I’ve learned so much about child nutrition, the number of calories a child needs each day, and how to calculate that, as well as planning meals that best benefit the body's needs."
Daniela says she felt challenged in raising her children because of a lack of information about feeding methods. "Today, the teacher answered so many of my questions and corrected wrong nutrition practices I had with my older children."
"I feel I’ve learned so much about child nutrition... as well as planning meals that best benefit the body's needs."
Olfat is 36 and a mother of four. "I really felt a lack of general information," she says. "These workshops gave me a chance to learn a lot about nutrition — for instance about the dangers of overly sweet juices. I learned about healthy alternatives that I can offer my children."
Olfat also expresses her satisfaction with the healthy meals Anera provides to children in the kindergarten, hoping they continue. "My economic situation doesn’t always let me give my son pocket money or even a proper breakfast, so the healthy meal at school is a lifesaver.”
Olfat now tries to educate herself on nutrition and is anxious to attend any more workshops that Anera will make available in the future.