Nutrition Month and 10 Nutrition Messages

July is Children for Health’s Nutrition month!

Here are our 10 messages on Nutrition for children to learn and share:

  1. To have a balanced healthy diet, eat different food of different kinds. GO, GROW and GLOW for strong bodies and happy minds!
  2. Malnutrition means Bad Nutrition and happens if we eat too little, too much or mostly junk food. Avoid malnutrition! Sit and eat enough good food at mealtimes, but not too much.
  3. To check that babies and young children are growing well watch and help record their lengths and weight at a clinic as often as instructed by a health worker.
  4. Help avoid lifelong harm to young children. Tell adults to have them checked if you see their arms or body looking thin or their face or feet looking swollen.
  5. When young children are ill they may not eat well. Give them healthy drinks e.g. breast milk, milk or home-made soup. Also, give extra food when they start to feel better.
  6. Be a breast milk champion! Breast milk is always fresh and clean and the ONLY food and drink a baby needs from birth to 6 months.
  7. Help prepare and give older babies good food (6 months to 2 years). They need breast milk plus family food and snacks 3-4 times a day.
  8. Eat a rainbow of fruits, vegetables including leaves (red, orange, yellow and green). They contain micronutrients too small to see, but vital for our body and mind.
  9. Wash your hands well using water and a little soap. Rub for 20 seconds, rinse, shake and air-dry after toilet and before preparing food and eating.
  10. Wash fresh food well as you prepare it. Use cooked food immediately or make sure it’s stored away from flies to make it safe to eat later.

Our nutrition messages are sometimes adopted and often they are adapted to fit with a system or programme priorities.

In Tete Province, Mozambique, the Provincial Government there are using eight nutrition topics & messages and they are all based on nutrition topics and messages that can be found in their primary school curriculum:

  • HygieneA illustration of two children washing their hands in a bowl of water before eating
  • Balanced Diet
  • Rainbow Garden
  • Micronutrients
  • Sharing food fairly
  • Breastfeeding
  • Malnutrition
  • Growth Monitoring

The Provincial Education & Health Sectors in Tete helped develop and have approved these nutrition messages for use by school health clubs.

  1. Wash your hands correctly: use water, a little soap, rub them for 10 seconds. Rinse and air-dry or use a clean cloth. Don’t wipe on dirty clothes.
  2. Energetic foods + building foods + protecting foods are good foods that keep your body and mind strong.
  3. Eating from a rainbow garden helps to protect our health. Let’s grow a rainbow garden.
  4. Fruits and vegetables, red, yellow and green are full of micronutrients, too small to see, but make a strong, healthy body and mind.
  5. Small children, boys and girls, pregnant and breastfeeding women, the elderly and children with special needs ALL need the right amounts of good food.
  6. Breast milk is the only food and drink that a baby needs from birth to 6 months. It is energetic, building and protecting. It is always fresh and clean.
  7. Malnutrition means “bad nutrition”. This happens if we eat too little or if we eat too much junk food. Sharing the right amount of good food during meals avoids malnutrition.
  8. From birth until 5 years old children must be weighed regularly at a Health Clinic to check they are growing well.

Read more about this nutrition programme here.

There are materials including storybooks and posters that we created with teachers and children in this programme.

In Nigeria and India, Save the Children have taken three messages as part of their diarrhoea and control programme. The child participation program is structured around twelve messages for children to learn and share. This programme uses children’s health and hygiene clubs to mobilise children and support their activities in their families and communities, find more information here.

  1. Balanced Diet: Food that helps you GO plus food that helps you GROW plus food that helps you GLOW is good food that keeps your body strong.
  2. Breastfeeding: Breast milk is the only food and drink a baby needs from birth to 6 months. It has Go, Grow & Glow!
  3. Vitamin A: Eat enough Vitamin A in colourful fruit and vegetables like carrots and sweet potato. It makes our body strong and help to fight disease. It improves eyesight and makes skin glow.

Remember to see our free resources section to find storybooks and posters that focus on nutrition.

Keep up-to-date with the latest scientific work on Nutrition by looking at the Lancet series on Maternal and Child Nutrition and at the World Health Organisation’s Page on Nutrition.

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