Enriched porridges and nutrition knowledge keep children healthy in Mozambique

Through an FAO Emergency Programme, groups of women are getting nutrition education, empowering them to make dietary changes for themselves and their families.

Cristina teaches other women about healthy eating habits, appropriate meals for children and better practices for food preparation. ©FAO/Telcinia Nhantumbo

Enriched porridge. What a powerful tool it became for the women of Katapua village in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province.

Cristina Celestino Mariano is a young mother with two daughters. She was trained as a “Care Mother” by an FAO Emergency programme on nutrition, funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the United Kingdom.

After the training, Cristina was asked to teach her own group and that same day she walked around the neighborhood looking for mothers of children from 0-5 years old and pregnant and lactating women to join the programme. She formed a group of 10 women to start learning about nutrition. Cristina said that it was not easy to convince them, but she had the courage and necessary conviction to get them on board.

Once a week, she sits with her group and uses the specially designed flip charts to teach them about healthy eating habits and appropriate meals for children.

“In the flip charts we find illustrations of children with a big belly (odema) and that happens a lot in our region. There are many who suffer from it, but we believe that with this programme we are saving children. We have already learned to prepare the enriched porridges that combine flour with moringa, salt, peanut butter, and we also learned how to prepare the porridge with egg and sugar,” explains Cristina.

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