By Colleen Walton, Farmers Helping Farmers
The FHF Nutrition team, Colleen and James, made a follow-up visit to Murinya Primary School to see if the school had implemented the recommendations made by 2019 UPEI students to upgrade the school meals.
We met a most enthusiastic Deputy-Headmaster who reported that she had instructed the new cook to make all the changes possible within their current constraints – most notably that the school does not yet have a big vegetable garden.
This garden will be developed in the next few months. But in the meantime we were excited to find that the school is now soaking maize and beans before cooking, have increased the proportion of beans in an effort to increase iron and protein intakes, and have reduced the salt content of their githeri.
As well, the school has changed to using Vitamin A fortified vegetable oil!
We weighed all the ingredients, weighed the portions of githeri served to the different ages of students and ultimately computed to what extent the githeri provided nutrients for the students.
James is busy now doing the computations. We certainly know that with soaking we can increase the iron intake of the student and the fortified oil is a step forward in reaching the necessary vitamin A for good eyesight and improved disease fighting.
We are all anticipating the benefits that the garden with carrots, oranges sweet potatoes, swiss chard and kales will provide to these hardworking students.
Today the nutrition team joined a dairy club in Naari and provided the Family Nutrition seminar with a taste of special githeri. (A stew full of healthy veggies!)
Here James is presenting on the need to avoid drinking tea one hour before and on hour after the meal. This practice ensures more iron from the beans is usable for the person’s body.
And we brought food!
James is safely transporting super githeri for the dairy club seminar.
Collen says: “A taste of super githeri is worth a thousand words!”