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Healthy and balanced nutrition for growth, work and play

Enjoy a variety of foods

Eat staple foods with every meal

These foods are relatively cheap and supply not only energy and protein but also small amounts of vitamins and minerals. Staples include cereals (such as rice, maize, millet, sorghum, wheat and barley), starchy roots (such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava and yams) and starchy fruit (such as plantains).

Eat legumes if possible every day

These foods include beans, peas, lentils, groundnuts (including peanut butter) and soybeans. When eaten with staple foods the quality of protein is increased.

Eat animal and milk products regularly

Foods from animals and fish should be eaten as often as you can afford them. They supply good-quality proteins, vitamins, minerals and extra energy. All forms of meat, poultry (birds), fish, eggs and dairy products such as milk, sour milk, buttermilk, yoghurt and cheese should be included. If insects, such as caterpillars or grasshoppers, are part of your eating patterns, they also provide good nutrients.

Eat vegetables and fruit every day

These foods are important for a person to grow well and fight infection. A recommended list is provided below.

Yellow, orange, red or dark green

Other vegetables and fruit vegetables and fruit

Green leafy vegetables (spinach, pumpkin, cassava leaves), green peppers, squash, carrots, yellow peaches, apricots, papaya and mangoes

Tomatoes, cabbage, oranges, mandarins, grapefruit, lemons, guavas mangoes, passionfruit, pineapples, mulberries and baobab fruit

· Good sources of vitamin A

· Good sources of vitamin C; help to fight infection

Use fats and oils as well as sugar and sugary foods

Fats, oils and sugar are good sources of energy and are important for maintaining weight or regaining weight lost. They add flavour to food, thereby stimulating the appetite.

Fats and oils include butter, lard, margarine, cooking oil (vegetable, coconut and palm oil), cream, mayonnaise and coconut cream. They are also found in avocados, oilseeds (sunflower, groundnut and sesame), fatty meat and fish, curds and cheese.

Sugars and sugary foods include honey, jam, table sugar, cakes and biscuits.

Drink plenty of clean and safe water

Drink about eight cups of water per day and even more if you are suffering from diarrhoea, vomiting or fever. You can also drink fruit juice, soups and other beverages. Collect your water from a protected source and store it in a clean container. If the water is not from a protected source it should be boiled for ten minutes and cooled down afterwards before drinking. Avoid drinking tea or coffee with a meal, as they reduce the iron the body gets from your food.

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