A proud mum and inspiring more mothers to-be

Devika, aged 28 residing at Gummidipoondi Refugee camp has two boys, and her youngest was underweight and suffered from wheezing. Doctors suggested that she give him a more nutritious diet, however her monotonous meals made the children eat less. Lebara Foundation suggested the implementation of nutrition demo sessions, in 2011, to educate mothers in communities on various ways to prepare the nutrition supplements and ingredients distributed in camps.

Earlier I was unaware of [the] nutritional content present in vegetables and fruits. After attending nutrition demo sessions held in mother’s meeting, I learnt new recipes, started preparing it in my house, and now my children ask me to prepare different type of dishes I had learnt. It makes [me] feel happy that my children are consuming home-made nutritious food. These demo programs and recipe booklets creates an enthusiastic environment among the mothers, in each demo session held, one of us will present a dish in the demo session and share the recipe.

- Devika

Incorporating nutritious wholesome food in her children’s diet has reduced her sons wheezing episodes and has aided in his weight gain. Devika is immensely grateful towards Lebara, as most often it has not been a priority to address nutrition, ways to cook and incorporate this into local eating styles and preferences.

A Sustainable Initiative | Nutritional Education to Mothers for Well-being

Half of all child deaths in India could be prevented if the issue of malnutrition is addressed.

Malnutrition among children is a major public health concern in India, especially in rural areas, urban slums and tribal communities. Half of all child deaths in India could be prevented if the issue of malnutrition is addressed. Poor nutrition leads to stunted growth in children, which is irreversible and associated with impaired cognitive ability and reduction in physical strength. Numerous studies predicted that the Caregiver’s knowledge level on nutrition has a significant effect on the child’s nutritional status, infant practices and overall development from birth.

To bring change in behaviours and attitudes, it’s very important to educate the mothers on good nutritional practices to change nutrition status if children. Lebara foundation through its implementing partners conducts nutritional awareness sessions for mothers in all the project sites. In these sessions, mothers are taught good nutritional practices, healthy food habits, dietary allowances, different nutritional recipes and other relevant topics to nutritional health. Lebara foundation also conducts periodic “Train the Trainer” programs for mothers who have competed the nutrition course. Trained mothers in turn taught and trained other mothers within the community creating a cascading effect.

These activities have enabled volunteers in the development of a handbook on standardized topics on nutrition for mothers. This is a proud example of our sustainable initiatives and the handbook was released by Co-Founder Mr. Rasiah R Leon, and the first copy received by Dr. Anuradha Ganesan, Board member and Director, Vinayaka Mission group of Institutions