Saturday, June 8, 2013

Save the Children's Food for Thought

If it wasn't there before, once you become a mom, a deep felt connection to the women of the world comes alive in you. You see other moms in a new light. You see a mom, whether in your neighborhood or around the world, and your heart hurts for her. You see the tears in her eyes as she holds a sick child or as she buries a child. You feel your heart strings tug and you hold your child closer, giving them a kiss and sending up a "Thank You" for your child being healthy in this moment. 

Save the Children is working to help save other moms from the pain and heartache of watching their child not develop  properly or worse, having to watch their child starve to death. In their new report, Food for Thought, they give all the facts of how devastating malnutrition is, especially in the first 1,000 days of a child's life. (This includes conception to the child's 2nd birthday). As devastating and heartbreaking malnutrition is, it is very possible to stop this problem. From educating farmer, parents, and leaders to increasing funding for food programs, deaths from malnutrition can be slowed and stopped. 

As an American mom in the middle class, I have never had to know the pains of unwanted hunger. I have never had to watch my child cry their self to sleep because they hadn't eaten all day and new their would be no breakfast tomorrow. For moms who are pregnant in developing countries, they have to choose what good is available for them, when some is available.  

What can you do to help the women and children of the world? You can always get involved with Save The Children. You can also contact your local government to let them know the issues important to you, advocacy is a huge underused tool. Another way you can make a difference in the world is to start at home. What do you mean, Samantha? I mean, we as moms who have the ability to feed our children healthy,  nutritious foods should. We should teach our children to enjoy and savor the delicious fact that we have the ability to feed them nutritious foods because their is a chance that someone near you is food insecure. (Read this post to learn more about food issues in the US as well.)

Here is one of my favorite meals to make that is full of nutrients to feed your children. I'm lucky that my daughter loves veggies so hopefully yours will like this too! In honor of the G8 Summit and all of the important things to come, here is a Gr8 recipe.

Yummy Veggie Fajitas

4 Bell Peppers (any color)
2 Onions
3 Carrots
2 Zucchini
1 Head of Broccoli
Fajita Seasoning

1. Rinse Veggies
2. Chop them up.
3. Heat oil in pan.
4. Sprinkle veggies with seasoning.
5. Simmer veggies until desired crunch or lack of. 
6. Serve with tortillas, cheese, and hot sauce, if desired. 

 Bonus: Save leftovers and make veggie quesadillas the next night!! 

To help you understand more of what is in the Save the Children report, please keep reading! 

You might remember my post about how breastfeeding can save lives which was based on another Save the Children report. This current report goes a step further in feeding children after or in addition to breastfeeding. If mom isn't getting the nutrients she needs while pregnant or while breastfeeding then everything is slowed down including brain development. 

Here are some facts showing how children without proper nutrition are affected: (from the Food for Thought Report)
  • 12.5% more likely to make writing mistakes
  • 7% more likely to make a math mistake
  • 19% less likely to read a simple sentence by age 8
  • 12% less likely to write a simple sentence
  • 13% less likely to be in the correct grade of school for their age
This report from Save the Children shows that only 0.3% of global development funds is spent on nutrition programs. 

Save the Children is urging the world's leaders to take this problem seriously and to see how we, the world, can make a positive impact on the rest of the world. Here is what they are urging our leader to do and I think it's pretty awesome!

This was taken directly from the Food for Thought report:

Donors and developing country governments must seize this historic opportunity and make the commitments needed to tackle malnutrition. They should:

  1. 1  Support and finance national plans to
    scale up nutrition. Announce commitments
    to develop, and provide technical and financial support to, the implementation of evidence-based, costed nutrition plans at the country level, in SUN-member and other high-burden countries.

  2. 2  Declare and meet interim impact targets by 2016 as part of the global goal to alleviate the burden of malnutrition in children by 2025. These must include stunting reduction targets, be aligned with the World Health Assembly nutrition targets and be based on country needs.18
  1. 3  Enhance nutrition-sensitivity of agriculture initiatives so food-based approaches can contribute more to improving nutritional status.
    –  Reform the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition and include accountability mechanisms  with detailed public plans to achieve maternal and child nutrition impacts
    –  Adapt the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) to incentivise nutrition-sensitive approaches to agriculture.

  2. 4  Ensure nutrition is a core part of the
    G8 Accountability Report. Continue and enhance the nutrition chapter from the 2012 Accountability Report. Move towards comparable tracking of nutrition funding, outcomes and impacts with a mechanism for published annual updates on progress.

  3.  5 Recognise the importance of nutrition for cognitive and educational development, and ensure         that nutrition is integrated as a key component of early years’ programming, including in early childhood care and development programmes.

  4. 6 Integrate stimulation interventions into early years’ programmes, in order to mitigate the impacts of malnutrition on children’s cognitive development. 

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