Feature: Indigenous vegetables used in school feeding project
By Imelda Angeles-Agdeppa
Despite being surrounded by several bodies of water, the Philippines still houses vast land areas for agriculture and forest utilizations. Due to the rich soil, a diversity of indigenous vegetables can be found in most areas of the country. However, the changing food habits and preferences of individuals lead to the underutilization of these indigenous vegetables.
According to the 2008 National Nutrition Survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST), vegetables only comprise 12.8 percent of the total household consumption and only 3.9 percent of this is the consumption of green leafy and yellow vegetables.
Vegetables are valued not only for their contribution to fiber in the diet, but also for nutrient content. Furthermore, green leafy and yellow vegetables are rich in iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and other micronutrients.
The Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos (NGF) revised in 2012 not only recommends eating a variety of foods everyday but also eating more vegetables and fruits daily to get the essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber for regulation of body processes.
In an attempt to promote proper eating in the school setting, the Department of Education (DepEd) in 2007 provided specific guidelines under DepEd Order No. 8 Series of 2007 on the foods sold in the school canteens.
The DepEd memorandum circular also indicates that the school canteen in both elementary and secondary levels shall only provide or sell nutrient-rich foods such as root crops, noodles, rice and corn products in native preparation, fruits and vegetables in season, and fortified food products labelled rich in protein, energy, vitamins, and minerals.
Also, the memorandum prohibits the sale of carbonated drinks, sugar-based synthetic or artificially flavoured juices, junk foods, and any food product that may be detrimental to a child’s health.
Another program is the production of indigenous vegetables in school and household gardens which is a cheap, sustainable and feasible way to hit two birds with one stone—undernutrition and food insecurity.
In 2009, a project conducted by the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) in coordination with the World Vegetable Center, launched the promotion of 10 indigenous Philippine vegetables these includealugbati (Basella alba), ampalaya (bitter gourd) for leaves or bayok-bayok (Momordicacharantia), himbabao (Allaeanthusluzonicus), kulitis (Amaranthus), labong (bamboo shoot), upo or bottle gourd (Lagenariasiceria), malunggay (Moringa), pako (fiddlehead), saluyot (Corchorus), and talinum (Talinumtriangulare).
Known as “Promotion of Indigenous Vegetable for Poverty Alleviation and Nutrition Improvement of Rural Households in the Philippines” project, it wasimplemented by the Department of Agriculture (DA), National Nutrition Council (NNC), and local government units (LGUs).
The project proponents advocate aggressive promotion in encouraging Filipinos to produce and consume local vegetables for a sustainable and healthy living.
Likewise, a collaborative project by FNRI-DOST, International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR), DepEd, and International Development Research Center (IDRC) entitled Integrated Approach to Address Food and Nutrition Security in the Philippinesutilizes indigenous vegetables from the school garden in a supplementary feeding program among school-aged children in two schools in Cavite.
The project integrates Gardening, Nutrition Education and Supplementary Feeding or simply GarNESupp, to alleviate undernutrition in target students in two selected schools.
Sustainable food sources, like gardens, are important especially in times of low food production, while the utilization of indigenous vegetables can provide a variation in the diet of the household that help in forming correct behaviors towards healthy eating among children.
Moreover, the FNRI-DOST developed recipes utilizing indigenous vegetables found in the school garden. These recipes were also used in the supplementary feeding of 160 school-aged children six to eight years old conducted by the FNRI-DOST, IIRR, DepEd and IDRC.
To supplement these two approaches nutrition education sessions were conducted by the DepEd Grades 1 to 3 teachers to parents of participating students and nutrition education were also integrated to the lesson plan. The materials that were used in these sessions like visual aids, were joint effort of all the Grades 1 to 3 teachers of the participating schools at the General Aloña Memorial Elementary School and Felipe Calderon Elementary School.
Physical and behavioral developments of school-aged children are usually targeted in supplementary feeding programs.
The introduction of indigenous vegetables to school children familiarizes them with the local produce rather than solely consuming and opting for high-yielding and foreign crops. Using indigenous vegetables in supplementary feeding programs also decreases the cost of menu and allows for proper knowledge information to ensure continuous consumption of healthy foods among school-aged children.
For more information on food and nutrition, contact Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Telefax: 837-2934 and 827-3164, or call 837-2071 local 2296 or visit our website: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph. (FNRI-DOST S&T Media Service)
Lathalain: Epekto ng alak sa sanggol sa sinapupunan
By Ma. Idelia G. Glorioso
Ang pagbubuntis ang isa sa mga masasayang parte sa buhay ng mag-asawa. Gagawin ang lahat para maibigay ang malusog na simula para sa sanggol sa sinapupunan.
Kapag nalaman ng isang babae na siya ay nagdadalangtao, una niyang dapat gawin ay magpa-prenatal check up. Dagdag pa dito ang pagkain ng mga masusustansyang pagkain, pag-inom ng maraming tubig, at pag- iwas sa paninigarilyo at pag-inom ng alak.
Sa mga nagdadalantao, ang pag-inom ng higit sa tatlong onsa ng inuming may alkohol sa isang araw ay maaring mag-resulta sa fetal alcohol syndrome, lalo na sa unang tatlongbuwan ng pagbubuntis? Ang mga batang mayroon nito ay may pisikal na kapansanan at may kakulangan sa pag-iisip.
Ayon sa 2012 Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos (NGF) kailangang maging physically active, pumili ng masustansyang pagkain, i-manage ang stress, iwasan ang sobrang pag-inom ng alak at huwag manigarilyo. Ito ay para maiwasan ang mga sakit na sanhi ng maling pamumuhay at pagkain.
Ang 2012 NGF ay binuo ng Technical Working Group (TWG) sa pamumuno ng Food and Nutrition Research Institute ng Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST),
Pinapayuhan ang mga nagdadalangtao na huwag uminom ng alak. Wala pa kasing pag-aaral ukol sa dami ng alak na ligtas inumin ng nagdadalangtao, bukod pa sa nabanggit na masamang epekto nito sa mag-ina.
Para sa karagdagang impormasyon tungkol sa pagkain at nutrisyon, lumiham o tumawag sa Food and Nutrition Research Institute-DOST, Bicutan, Taguig City, Tel. No. 837-29-34 or 837-20-71 loc. 2287, email: email@example.com; FNRI-DOST website:firstname.lastname@example.org. (FNRI-DOST S&T Media Service/PIA-Caraga)