July of every year is known as Nutrition Month. This year’s theme is “Ugaliing magtanim, sapat na nutrisyon ay aanihin.” The backbone of the Nutrition Month celebration is to encourage backyard farming. This idea is not very new to the provinces where almost every home will have one or two (sometimes, even more) vegetable planted by the yard. What is becoming a stranger however is the diligent consumption of backyard farming yields as children get more exposed to fast foods and instant foods.
Being part of this school years Parent-Teacher Association officer, I was happy to be part of the planning of the Nutrition Month activities. I have to say I miss planning program and curricular stuff in a way.
My daughter’s school has always requested fruits to be brought to school for this celebration. This year, however, they had decided to open all these fruits and serve them to the children. I like that idea a lot. I think that is a lot better than just showing them the fruits. These children get a fuller experience by getting an opportunity to eat the fruits. I saw a lot of the children enjoy that. Several, even running back to the table for another fruit.
Each grade level from K-6 has been assigned a fruit for sharing. There were ample varieties of fruit that day. Similarly, a vegetable has been assigned per level. The vegetable is to be prepared and made into a dish for sharing as well by parents. I should say the table was overflowing with food. Nothing can be compared to parents and the school effectively collaborating for the children. I have seen interesting ways to prepare your simple vegetable. There were some that looked appetizingly interesting on its own and had an interesting taste too. And yes, for that day, the children had to eat whatever vegetable they saw on the table. That lunch exemplified nutrition month!
And of course, to live up to the given theme: “Ugaliing magtanim; sapat na nutrisyon ay aanihin.” (Make vegetable planting/farming a habit to harvest sufficient nutrition.) This year’s Nutrition Month Culminating had the children plant simple vegetables. Mostly those that can be replanted a it is or as a cutting. The children are now involved in tending to this small vegetable garden that they had made. My daughter said they go to their plant everyday to check it and water it as well.
While the children were planting, me and my fellow “Sayote Moms” ran off to another mom’s house. We prepared Sayote-Pineapple juice for the children too. So, it was not just the children who had this moment. These activities where parents – moms, mostly gather together to collaborate and exchange stories. This is a good spin-off to connect with fellow moms and just be. It’s already tough parenting and providing everything our children needs, so lets unwind once in a while too. Turned out that the Nutrition Month was not only nutrition for the body but also the mind and soul.
photo credits to moms and teachers