NUTRITION PROGRAMMEEnsuring an optimal nutritional base for children to positively impact on their development, learning skills, social and emotional abilities.
Best Nutrition Workshop
Masikhule facilitates a 4-day workshop for women who prepare food in ECD Centres in marginalised communities. These practical workshops provide accessible solutions and guidance as to how best store, prepare and plan menus to provide the children with the required nutrients within the limited budgets available.
Healthy eating is important for every individual at every stage of their life. The regular consumption of fruit, vegetable and whole grains has been well documented to decrease the incidence of non-communicable diseases (heart disease, diabetes, stroke and certain types of cancer) in later life. Simply put; healthy eating is an investment in one’s health and future well-being.
This investment is especially important for young children under 5 years as these years lay the foundation that shapes children’s future health, growth, development and learning achievement at school.
In an effort to address and prevent malnutrition at the Masikhule-mentored ECD centres we have, under the guidance of a registered Dietitian, developed a Best Nutrition Programme to ensure the children at these centres have an optimal nutritional base from which to grow, develop and learn.
The Best Nutrition Workshops include:
The 4-day training course can accommodate 10 – 12 candidates and topics covered include: nutritional requirements of children, menu assessment and planning, standardized menus and practicals on healthy food preparation including portion sizes. It will also include budgeting and best purchase guidelines, best hygiene, safety and storage practices.
ECD Cooks receive a Best Nutrition Kit which includes an energy-saving Wonderbag, serving spoons, measuring cups and spoons, storage containers, digital scale (to weigh children) and height measure.
BEST NUTRITION WORKSHOPScreening and Monitoring
The Best Nutrition Workshops – Screening and Monitoring
Screening children in the Early Learning Centres before their cooks go on the Best Nutrition Course, and then monitoring them afterwards, gives us a good indication of the effects of this practical, hands-on programme.
ECD Centres receive ongoing training, mentorship and support where visits include monitoring of kitchen management, food preparation, menu planning, seasonal changes, hygiene and safety and budget assessments.
Feeding Schemes: JAM SA, THE LUNCHBOX FUND
Adequate and correct nutrition during the first five years of a child’s life are particularly important for the development of the child’s brain, providing the base for the brain’s development and functioning, directly impacting on how children develop learning skills as well as social and emotional abilities. We have also been fortunate enough to partner with JAM SA and The Lunchbox Fund to facilitate feeding schemes in most of the ECD Centres that we mentor.