• Delicious, fresh vegetables from the local market – carrots, cabbage, onions, garlic, ginger
• Beans – a good source of protein
• Coconut milk
• Curry Powder
• Plenty of rice
1. Put the rice in a very large pot of boiling water to start cooking.
2. Slice the onions (have tissues on standby for tears!).
3. Peel and chop the vegetables (the children loved helping with this but we kept the little ones away from the knives … ).
4. Grab an enormous wok and fry the onions, garlic and ginger until softened and golden. Add the curry powder.
5. Add the remaining vegetables and stir on a medium heat until softened.
6. Tip in the coconut milk and let it bubble away for about 20 minutes.
The taste test verdict!
The colorful and healthy meal went down very well with all the children. As with children the world over some needed a bit of persuasion to eat their vegetables. The small bananas given as dessert disappeared very quickly!
The mothers were happy to see their children enjoying the healthy food and were pleased that the feeding program was well organized.
About the Palo Feeding Project
VFV has just taken over the running of this project. It is for children between 4 and 6 years old who are underweight. Once accepted onto the project the children will receive one nutritious lunch a day for 4 months. VFV volunteers will include fun educational sessions about nutrition for the parents and children.
First the VFV volunteer nutritionist and a staff member work with potential candidates and their mothers to get the necessary information to assess the health of the child.
The child’s Body Mass Index (BMI) is calculated and a special graph used to work out what percentile they are. BMI is based on an adult population so needs to be scaled for children. If the child’s percentile is less than 5% it indicates they are underweight and at risk of malnutrition.
VFV staff member Princess took care to explain the project and its aims to the mothers so that they understood which children would be accepted.
The children will be weighed every two weeks and their progress will be plotted on a chart. At the end of the 4 months those who are safely above the 5% percentile will graduate from the project. Those who are still underweight will take part in the next project along with new children.
At the end of the first day we asked the children what they thought of the food ‘Yummy!’ was their reply!
How can I help?
Projects like this are ongoing and need volunteers and donations to have long term success.
Are you interested in helping children have a healthy start in life?
Find out how to get involved – Volunteer Abroad on a Nutrition Project or donate to help keep feeding projects like this one going. Thank you!
Photos and story by Liz Avery – VFV Media Intern