Eat Well and Live Better
The Nutrition program at NPH Guatemala keeps our kids fit and well.
October 18, 2016 - Guatemala
Most of the children come to NPH Guatemala suffering from malnutrition; they may not have had enough food to eat - let alone healthy food. NPHG is focused on ensuring the children are not only well-fed, but that they are receiving well-balanced nutritionally sound meals.
Our doctor, Lauren Gomez, is a pediatrician and also a qualified nutritionist. She works with the staff in the kitchen, and together they create healthy menus for the children. “Over the last two years we’ve created several different menus including a menu for the general population of children who eat in the comedor, children living in the baby’s house, our special needs children, and also the older kids living at our high school,” she says. “Depending on their age and the state of their health, the children have different requirements. The most important thing is to have a balanced diet with protein, carbs, fruits, vegetables, and fats.” NPHG also has children with chronic illnesses. They have individual plans worked out for them, and their caregivers have been educated on their special requirements.
Our hard working cooks serve around 820 meals to children, employees, and volunteers during the week. Dr Lauren’s presented training courses on nutrition and food hygiene to all the kitchen staff. Breakfast is often cereal with fruit and sometimes yogurt, or beans and an egg. Lunch is the biggest meal of the day with a variety of dishes like chicken and vegetables in salsa served with rice. Or there is sometimes a creamy pasta salad, or a meat replacement served with vegetables and tortillas. To boost the children’s fruit and veggies they are often made into a juice to drink along with their meals. All of the 280 children here get three meals a day and a healthy snack during a break at school. Our youngest children (under ten years old) have a slightly different menu due to the importance of a nutrition-rich food during a child’s first years. They get extra protein, fruit and vegetables.
Luckily NPHG has some very hardworking people who have created relationships with local farmers. When they have excess products that are not up to export grade they donate it to Casa San Andres. “One of the biggest challenges for NPHG is getting enough protein and high quality fruits and vegetables,” says Dr Lauren. This is one of the areas that we continue to strive to find solutions in.