Sunday, 14 October 2012

As the proverbial saying goes, “We are what we eat.” This is all the more true of growing children, whose physical, intellectual and emotional well being depends to a large extent on their diet. A well-balanced, nutritious food intake is conducive to children’s overall rapid growth
However, the children in our projects come from poor families where it is difficult for the parents to provide such meal to all their offspring. Considering the effect of malnourishment on a child’s health and ultimately on his/her performance, CFI runs community kitchen centers for its sponsored and non sponsored children where children get nutritious meal, recommended by the nutritionist. The women from the community run these centers at their homes. We call them kitchen mothers. They work for CFI as "Mothers" of these children while serving them food. Timely inputs are given to them to cook healthy and hygienic food. The selection of the children depends upon the health of the children. One community kitchen center caters to the nutritional needs of 30 children. We see to it that the food we provide to the children contains all the nutritive values. We also try to inculcate good eating habits in children. Their weight and height is monitored at regular intervals. This facility is available for all the sponsored children in need of high protein diet. Not only the sponsored children but also the non-sponsored children and the siblings of sponsored children can attend these centers, if need be. The need assessment is done by the social workers.

CFI programmes are need-based programmes. So a given programme is implemented in different ways in different units. For instance, the Dabhol unit offers nutri-packs to the children, which comprises dates, groundnuts bars, coconut bars, and rajgira laddu. For these nutri-packs, the age group of 2 to 10 years has been considered here.