Women of reproductive age and health personnel across Yaounde and beyond have been educated on the benefits of good nutrition for women before, during and after pregnancy.
The lessons on good nutrition were dished out during an Open Door Day event organised by the J&A Oben Foundation in Yaounde in partnership with UNICEF and the Ministry of Public Health on May 17, 2023.
During the event, the participants were also taught how to compose complementary food from local foods.
Proper Nutrition for Women, Gate-way to Improved Livelihood
A Nutritionist at the J&A Oben Foundation, Crista Tabi Arrey in her presentation, stated that a woman who is well-fed will be able to take care of her family. This guarantees a productive community.
But proper feeding the expert says, should start well ahead of child birth.
“A woman has to prepare herself before the birth of her child,” Crista Tabi Arrey said.
A Nutritionist at the J&A Oben Foundation, Crista Tabi Arrey says women need to feed well before, during and after pregnancy. She also highlights how to compose complementary food for babies.
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Accordingly, she recommends that the woman takes food which contains mineral salts, vitamins, calcium, proteins and fatty acids in order to give birth to a healthy baby.
The Nutritionist also insisted on eating well during pregnancy and after giving birth.
Given the Exclusive Breastfeeding recommendation for babies till six months, the Nutritionist says breastfeeding mothers must feed well to ensure their babies stay healthy.
Composing Complementary Food
As concerns composing complementary food for babies after six months, presentations focused on the types of foods required.
Crista Tabi Arrey says that the energy needed by the baby must be considered when composing the meals.
“The first thing we should consider is their energy needs which range from 500 to 700 calories. This can easily be gotten from cereals which are preferred because they are easy to digest,” the Nutritionist said.
She also indicated that our local Cameroonian staples like cocoyams, irish and sweet potatoes and crayfish, amongst others, are good elements to include in the composition of complementary foods.
“Babies also need protein sources. We can use the egg yolk which is good in protein and vitamin A. We can also use dried fish, groundnuts and beans. As for fibre, fruits and dried vegetables are good sources,” she continued.
If these nutrition recommendations for women and babies are respected, malnutrition will cease from being a recurrent public health problem.
Eleanor Ayuketah Ngochi