When we work with children suffering from a developmental disorder, their physical health is just as important as their mental health. Learning about Nutrition and learning healthy eating habits are necessary steps in ensuring the well being of these special children. One program we have involved ourselves in is the nutrition and healthy eating habits program. The nutrition and healthy eating habits program’s initiative is to wipe out the outward signs of nutritional deficiencies. Some of these signs will include tough, dry, pale, scaly skin; rashes; dry, brittle hair; bleeding gums; and eye discoloration. We see these signs often in the children that we work with and they are only part of the problem. Often, children who have disabilities or developmental delays are hypersensitive in the mouth area. As a result, new food textures, tastes, or temperatures cause a gagging reflex. This hyperactive gag makes swallowing solid foods very difficult; therefore, we are teaching the mothers how to make nutritional and tasty soups for their children to eat. So far, the children have shown much improvement in their intake and healthy digestion of food.Most everything that is used to make nutritional soups and soft foods is easily available in markets, and can be grown by the mothers. It is our aim to show them how they can obtain these essential healthy ingredients and the benefits of using them. We are also working to improve the development of self-feeding skills, improve oral motor function related to eating/lip closure, identifying and communicating nutritional needs, improving food preparation and mealtime skills, and to improve growth rates.Cooking with the mothers has been an incredible experience. While we prepare the ingredients together I love to listen to them talk about their children and difficulties they have overcome. They laugh much and are very comforting and supportive of one another. Once everything is ready, we throw it in the Jiko and everyone anxiously awaits to try the soup that's emitting such delicious scents. Once it's finally finished, we dish out a cup of soup for everyone present. There's much mmming and licking the last drops that are left at the bottom. This whole process shows the good food is just as nourishing to the soul as it is the body. Less than ten dollars can easily make enough soup for at least 150 people so please keep that in mind when deciding whether or not you should donate. Any amount is incredibly helpful and our mothers and children will be eternally grateful. And don't forget to check out our cookbook! We upload all new recipes that we make so you can try them too!
Nutrition and Healthy eating
I love to see the children with whom I work smile; when they smile, I smile. These children are our future, it’s important to give them a solid foundation on which to build their lives.