A Partner West Africa News Story
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Volunteer in nutrition with schools providing meals and education to vulnerable children

Nutrition Training with Local School Cooks

Date Posted: 03/09/2018

Lydia is a volunteer working with Partner West Africa (PWA) on the Children’s Health, Hygiene and Nutrition programme who spent time working with a local school to help them ensure that the meals they provide the children are nutritionally balanced.

Lydia is a volunteer working with Partner West Africa (PWA) on the Children’s Health, Hygiene and Nutrition programme who spent time working with a local school to help them ensure that the meals they provide the children are nutritionally balanced.

She began by observing the preparation and service of each lunch served to the school children at Divine Home School, gathered information on the ingredients and amounts that are incorporated into each meal to determine the main nutritional components that each meal lacked and observed the portion sizes given to the children. She also inquired about the costs of food and the feasibility of potential additions with regards to financial constraints and assessed the children’s preference for different foods.

After several days of observing and gathering this information she created a handout that included a table of each meal served along with the ingredients. The table visualized which nutrient category (carbohydrate, protein, fat and vitamins & minerals) each ingredient applied to and where the gaps are in meeting the children’s nutritional requirements. Along with this information, additions for improving the nutrition of each meal were included based on taste, cost and feasibility. As a supplement to this handout, to ensure a thorough understanding of basic nutrition principles, she created an information sheet that included why nutrition is important for children, a basic nutrition overview, and a description of each nutrient category that explained the importance and provided practical examples.

These written resources were used to provide a face-to-face workshop for 4 staff at the school who are involved in food preparation and procurement for the 90 children who attend Devine Home School.

“…working with the cooks at Divine Home School was a great first project. They taught me an abundance of information about Ghanaian food and were very helpful in teaching and explaining new things to me…it’s also been important for me to see how many barriers there are to food access. Every parent, cook, you name it, is doing the best they can for their kids” – Lydia, PWA Volunteer.

Author: Lydia - PWA Volunteer

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