Nutrition

 

Living Heart’s aim is for every nursery and primary school child (plus any abandoned elderly) to receive a hot breakfast and lunch every day of the school year.

The standard Andean diet of potatoes, maize and small amounts of animal protein is largely devoid of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of essential nutrients for normal development.

Through a process of careful evaluation, Living Heart identifies communities where a large percentage of the children are suffering from chronic malnutrition, growth problems and health issues related to a lack of dietary diversity. We provide the community primary schools with a wide variety of fresh foods rich in essential nutrients, and design special recipes to ensure that the children are receiving a nutritionally-varied diet.

Living Heart builds appropriate kitchens and trains local cooks from the communities to prepare these simple, specially-designed recipes twice a day – with all kitchens having smoke chimneys to avoid common eye, lung and respiratory infections. The community must fulfill their responsibilities by providing volunteers to aid the cook in the preparation of the food, and fuel the school kitchen fire from a sustainable source. Additionally, local anti-parasitic herbs are prepared as a hot drink and provided to the children bi-weekly.

Living Heart’s nutritious recipes provide children with a more complete nutritional package – bursting with vitamins, minerals, proteins, complex carbohydrates, fats and fibre to name but a few elements.

Through the nutrition project Living Heart has seen unbelievable increases in the children’s energy levels, cognitive development and concentration in classes. Their health in general is better – they are more active and robust – and attendance levels at school are higher and more constant.

Living Heart wants more Andean children to feel the benefits of a healthy diet. Check out our Donate page to see how you could make this happen!

A child is malnourished if ‘their diet does not provide adequate calories and protein for growth and maintenance or they are unable to fully utilize the food they eat due to illness.’
UNICEF

‘Healthy children learn better. People with adequate nutrition are more productive and can create opportunities to gradually break the cycles of poverty and hunger.’
World Health Organization