DOST promotes complementary food to fight malnutrition

Jordan, Guimaras – The use of complementary food blend seeks to fight malnutrition at Barangay San Miguel in Jordan, Guimaras.  The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Guimaras province initiated the conduct of training on the use of the Rice-Mongo-Sesame complementary food blend to barangay health workers (BHWs), barangay officials, and target families.

San Miguel’s barangay health data shows that 25 children aged 6- to 35-months-old and 50 pre-school children are at risk of malnutrition.  The vulnerable period is between 6 and 24 months old when breastfeeding is no longer sufficient to meet the nutritional requirements of the child.  To help support the community, DOST Guimaras implements strategies along with its Community Empowerment thru Science and Technology (CEST) program.  DOST Guimaras targets malnourished children ages 6 to 35 months in an attempt to address growth stunting which is irreversible during this period.

A technology training was conducted in preparation for a barangay feeding program to be facilitated by the Barangay Nutrition Scholar (BNS) and BHWs.  The feeding program targets to primarily benefit the identified malnutrition-stricken children and their families.  The BNS and BHWs will also handle the distribution of the complementary food blends as well as monitoring activities to ensure that the feeding schedule is strictly observed and followed.  Weighing of the target children beneficiaries will be conducted before and after feeding to determine the impact of the activity.

During the activity, DOST Guimaras Provincial Director Mr. Allen Daryl F. Asuelo presented the overview of the CEST program.  Furthermore, hands-on training on using and preparing the Rice-Mongo-Sesame complementary food was conducted by DOST VI’s Food Technology Expert Ms. Paula C. Huelar.

The Rice-Mongo-Sesame complementary food blend is one of the many food technologies developed by the DOST-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) to combat malnutrition, especially in the country’s rural communities.  It is a ready-to-cook blend that adequately provides energy and protein for 6- to 10-month-old children.

The fight against malnutrition remains to be a persistent problem in Western Visayas.  Through food technology training such as this, DOST VI provides access to nutritious but affordable food and advocates to educate communities about the importance of nutrition.  (NABFactuar/SSalazar, DOST VI-KMU)