Food Management Assistance in Households Effective to Reduce Stunting

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – One of the efforts to reduce the incidence of stunting (the condition of children shorter than normal children, ed) is by increasing the diversity of food consumed by children. Furthermore, food security is related to the problem of multiple nutrition at the family level, where obese mothers have stunted child.

Read: Reducing Stunting, Toddlers Should Not Eat More Mashed Banana and Rice

Read: Obese Mothers Have Stunted Child. How come?

Therefore, Trias Mahmudiono S.KM., MPH (Nutr.), GCAS, Ph.D or Trias and his team conducted research related to the effectiveness of nutrition education for obese mothers with stunted children to reduce the problem of multiple nutrition in Indonesia, especially at the family level. As at the family level, mother as financial manager who distributes food at home can increase food diversity.

“The interventions that we do not only provide information, but also empower mothers to realize that the needs of toddlers in terms of nutrition are different from the needs of adults,” Trias explained.

In the study, Trias and the team provided intervention and mentoring for three months to seventy-two targets. The intervention included nutrition education classes every two weeks, starting with gymnastics, followed by training in cooking breastfeeding complementary food and also accompanied by feeding chicken, egg and fish liver.

One of the information provided is related to the types of food that children need to avoid stunting, high-protein foods such as fish, eggs and chicken liver while obese mothers need to increase physical activity and eat more vegetables and fruits or foods high in fiber.

“After we educate them, we give vouchers with a certain amount of money that can only be exchanged with our partner food sellers,” he continued.

The mothers were not only given vouchers to fulfill their food needs. The purpose of the voucher is to find out whether the information provided during nutrition education class is applied to daily life.

Then, the research partner sellers will list the food items that the mothers buy using vouchers. So, the research team found out what kind of food the mothers bought.

“We also involved cadres to conduct home visits to the research target groups to provide motivation and monitoring,” said Trias.

The results showed that after an intervention for three months, the child’s height was relatively increased. Thus, interventions in the form of education, empowerment of making complementary foods, and accompanied by the provision of chicken livers, eggs and fish are effective enough to reduce stunting rates.

“The three-month interventions showed good results and would be even better if it was continued by the target community. It’s just that for the people who cannot afford to buy high-protein food, the state must intervene, ” stated Trias.

Author:  Galuh Mega Kurnia

Editor : Khefti Al Mawalia

Reference :  Mahmudiono, T. et al., 2016. The effectiveness of nutrition education for overweight/obese mother with stunted shildren (NEO-MOM) in reducing the double burden of malnutrition in Indonesia : study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. BMC Public Health, 16(486 ), pp. 1-11.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27277262

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