Good nutrition is important in the upbringing of bright, strong and stable children. Children, after all, are the future! As parents or guardians we have to ensure they get the proper nutritional care so that we can have a brighter future.
Children’s intake of food is generally very little. One should always ensure they have a nutritious diet. This is not an easy thing to achieve during the pandemic. Most families are struggling to even put three square meals on the table every day and going out to get food is also proving to be a challenge.
Most children who were under the school feeding programmes are now facing a huge risk of malnutrition since there is no more school. The public and private stake holders of education in Kenya are trying their level best to breach such gaps. Detection of malnutrition is also at a low since most parents are not taking their children to hospital to avoid risking contamination from COVID-exposed areas.
Nutrition is important and, in the long run, it’s cheaper to give a child good nutrition than have health issues brought on by poor nutrition. Here are some of the important nutritional facts of foods that we can still easily access in our homes:
- Vitamin D-Milk, fish, egg yolks, liver, fortified cereals and of course sunshine!
- Vitamin A-carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach
- Vitamin C-Oranges, strawberries, kiwi fruit, cabbage
- Vitamin B-whole grains i.e. oat and wheat, salmon, eggs, peas
- Vitamin E-Leafy green vegetables, vegetable oils i.e. sunflower oil, canola, nuts and seeds
- Vitamin K-soybean oil, broccoli.
- Legumes-black beans
As a parent or guardian, ensure the children get regular feeds and are always hydrated. The breast feeding mums should continue as breast milk boosts children’s immunity. There is no need to worry about mother-to-child infection through breastfeeding; it has not yet been proven that the COVID-19 virus can be spread through breast milk. Parents are encouraged to ensure their children do not miss or skip vaccinations or clinics. Include a lot of fruits and vegetables in their diet. Avoid soft drinks and sweets as they contain a high amount of sugar, salt, fat, and chemicals which are not healthy and are damaging to children’s health.
Home cooked meals are better than manufactured foods especially for the children. They are cheaper and more nutritious thus the better option! This is the silver lining to the call to #stayhome #staysafe
Author: Esther Kivisi.
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