Nitty-gritty of nutrition and balanced diet
National Nutrition week is an annual event, celebrated from 1st September to 7th September. Every year, the health department announces a theme for the program, under which different awareness sessions are conducted. This year the theme was “Better nutrition – key to development”.
The campaign was first started by the central government way back in 1982 to encourage good health by educating people about nutrition. Malnutrition posed a major hurdle to the country’s development. Despite earnest efforts from the government and civil society, the country is still to go a long way to eradicate malnutrition. The Food and Nutrition Board including 43 units (departments of women and child development, health and NGOs) is working all over the country to create awareness and educate people about cheap nutrition.
Deepalaya in collaboration with Food and Nutrition Board organized a one day workshop at Deepalaya head office on 1st September 2015. Around 45 Angwanwadi workers and Deepalaya staff were present on the occasion. The programme started with lighting of the lamp by Mr. P T Varghese, Mr. N N Tewari, Dy. Tech Adviser (N-R), Food & Nutrition Board, Mrs. Rekha Pal, Dietician,AIIMS & Mrs. Nonita Aggarwal.
Thereafter, Mr. N.N. Tiwari welcomed all Aganwadi Workers & Deepalaya staff. He then apprised about the importance of nutrition and different schemes announced by the government for the well-being of women and children through Aaganwadi workers. He said that Govt. spends every day Rs. 6 per child for 600 calories, Rs. 7 per woman for 700 calories and Rs. 9 per head for 900 calories for eradicating malnutrition. Still, more than 50% of the people in the country do not use iodised salt due to lack of knowledge. The nutrition week is aimed at bridging this gap.
This was followed by a short introduction about Deepalaya by Mr. P.T. Varghese and a presentation on diet-related chronic diseases by Ms. Rekha Pal. She informed how presence of fiber and anti-oxidants can change the life style of children. Absence of fiber in food leads to chronic diseases like hypertension, diabetics, obesity, cardiovascular disease & Cancer. Then she apprised about different types of fiber and what role do they play in improving health.
Thereafter, Ms. Vasundra Singh, informed the audience about balanced diet, its contents and how it helps in prevention and cure of Anaemia. It is common to come across women and young girls with a low Hb count. As per WHO, even a person with Hb count between 10-10.9 is termed as an anaemic while someone with Hb count of 7 indicates severe anaemia and 4 indicates very severe anaemia. Later on, she apprised about D-warming, Folic Acid tablets and how and when to use to overcome anaemia.
Dr. K.C. Aggarwal thereafter took a session for lactating mothers, how often should a child be fed, upto what age and how many times. The mother should also take a good diet during lactation. Towards the end of the day, Mr. R P Singh, the demonstration officer gave a demo for making panjiri, an easily affordable food with high nutrition value. Panjiri was thereafter distributed amongst the participants. The session ended with a vote of thanks from Mr. R P Singh.