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Four things helping kids grow up with good health

World Vision
7 April 2016 by One Goal
Four things helping kids grow up with good health

Photo by Lucy Aulich, World Vision

To celebrate World Health Day in 2016, World Vision’s partners at One Goal are highlighting these four ways kids in Asia are achieving good health and nutrition.

Nutrition early on

Some health issues such as diabetes (the theme of World Health Day 2016) can be controlled and managed through increased access to diagnosis, self-management education and affordable treatment. But if a child has inadequate nutrition in the critical window of opportunity – the first 1,000 days of life – their physical and mental development can be set back for a lifetime. For pregnant mums and newborn children, adequate nutrition is critical to the child’s ability to meet his or her potential later in life.

18-year-old Rani along with her daughter, eight-month-old Sania. Rani got married at the age of 12 and had her first child at the age of 17. "Another duty of a wife is to bear children. I couldn’t bear children in the initial years of my marriage. People mocked me. They gossiped about me, saying, 'She will never have children.' It hurt. I cried until I felt numb. I went to doctors for treatment but found no remedy to my problem. I went to temples and prayed hard. It took me five years to become a woman from a girl. That’s when I had my child. Now I have a lovely daughter—someone I can play with. I feel good. I talk to her. I laugh with her. She is mine. Just like my doll, I am learning to take care of my daughter. Caring for a child is much tougher than caring for a doll because a child is a living being like me. I am responsible for her life and health. She cries. I need to calm her down, so I breastfeed her. But I am weak and get exhausted often while breastfeeding, when I get too tired I can no longer breastfeed her so I have to get milk from outside. I don’t want to have more children now because I am frail and that would also reflect on my child," says Rani. SHARE Summary: 18-year-old Rani*, mother of an eight-month-old, reflects upon her life -- about marriage at the age of 12, how she felt leaving her home to go to her husband’s house, and taunts of not being able to produce children early on in the marriage.

In India, mother Rani breastfeeds her 8-month-old daughter. Breastfeeding is a baby’s sure source of good nutrition as breast milk is packed with good nutrients. Photo by Annila Harris, World Vision

An active lifestyle by participating in sport

Along with good nutrition as a young child, a healthy and active lifestyle throughout adolescence is key for good health. Participation in sport encourages youth to stay active and adopt healthy habits. Since many lifestyle habits are formed in adolescence, establishing healthy choices now is key. Regular exercise can effectively prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes, ensures healthy body weight and muscle strength, and combats undernutrition and over-nutrition.

In Nepal, girls and boys are playing football thanks to a One Goal project at school. Football is giving children confidence, skills in teamwork, and encourages a healthy lifestyle. Photo by Sunjuli Kunwar, World Vision

In Nepal, girls and boys are playing football thanks to a One Goal project at school. Football is giving children confidence, skills in teamwork, and encourages a healthy lifestyle. Photo by Sunjuli Kunwar, World Vision

Eating right

Consuming not only enough food, but the right foods that are nutrient rich is important to children’s health. Hunger from not having enough to eat, and malnutrition from not eating the right foods holds children back from reaching their full potential. 100 million children in Asia are stunted and one-quarter of Asia’s 350 million children under the age of five are underweight because they do not consume the proper nutrients.

In Myanmar, World Vision (a One Goal core partner) workshops train families on how to include three main ingredients in every meal for strength, growth, and resistance.

In Myanmar, World Vision workshops train families on how to include three main ingredients in every meal for strength, growth, and resistance. Photo by Khaing Minh Htoo, World Vision

Continued nutrition education

Mothers in Asia are invested in their children’s health and the health of their family, too. Nutrition education such as health workshops, nutrition clubs and cooking demonstrations are teaching mothers how to prepare nutrient-rich meals for their family. The result is that children are getting more of right foods giving them more energy, strength, promoting good physical and mental development and helping them to achieve good health and nutrition!

In Bangladesh, 225 mothers and adolescents took part in 11 health education sessions on children health, food, and nutrition. Now parents are more conscious of their children's health.

In Bangladesh, 225 mothers and adolescents took part in 11 health education sessions on children health, food, and nutrition. Now parents are more conscious of their children’s health. Photo by Md. Golam Ehsanul Habib, World Vision

 

One Goal One Goal

One Goal are a campaign partnership and global movement of advocates with one goal: Nutrition for every child. With football as the catalyst, One Goal seeks to bring awareness to the issue of child malnutrition in Asia and powerfully inspire and mobilise the football community to take action to increase the number of children in Asia who survive and thrive.

 

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