Find Your Feet (FYF) nutrition expert has urged communities in Balaka District to prepare nutritious food to beat stunting.
FYF nutrition, gender and protection officer Juliana Ngwira made the remarks on Friday in the district.
She said: “Well-prepared locally-sourced food is more nourishing and tastier. However, many people prefer expensive food to well-prepared nutritious food.
“It is not about how expensive food looks. Instead, it is how well-prepared and balanced it is that matters.”
Ngwira said the ultra-poor can eat nutritious food depending on how they prepare it.
“Even those without money can get this food as it is locally available. It does not need spending much money to get it,” she said.
Ngwira said nutrition promoters in the district have learnt how to cook ‘chiwindi-nkoko’ (banana flower bud) relish which provides nutrients like that of animal liver, one-pot dish (which contains all six food nutrients) and amaranths seed (bonongwe) and sweet porridge, among other locally sourced food.
Sato Village care-group nutrition promoter Liver Senzani said children, pregnant and lactating mothers need nutritious food.
“To beat stunting, we encourage people to prepare nutritious food,” she said.
Balaka has 32.6 percent cases of stunting, prompting nutrition promoters to conduct cooking lessons in villages.
FYF is implementing a K360 million World Food Programme-funded Integrated Resilience Building Project in the district, providing food-insecure people with cash transfer, 30 kilogramme (kg) maize, six kg legumes and 1.1 litres cooking oil.
The project is running in traditional authorities Nkaya, Kalembo, Mbera and Kachenga, targeting 16 331 food-insecure households where people work for 12 days a month to receive cash.