FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Families in Vietnam are overcoming malnutrition and disease with support from StarKids and World Vision.
Twenty-two-year-old Trung lives in a small town in the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi, and her son, Linh, is just over three years old. A few months after giving birth to Linh, Trung noticed that he was not as energetic as other children his age. Also, he was not gaining as much weight as them.
Families such as Trung’s are often found to have insufficient knowledge of healthy food habits and nutrition requirements, especially concerning children’s diets. This tends to increase the risk of malnourishment and consequently, illnesses such as malaria, tuberculosis and dysentery.
In her desperation, Trung sought the advice of volunteers at a nutrition club set up by World Vision back in 2017. The club’s volunteers, who make it a regular practice to visit families with children under the age of five, advised her to join the club so that she could learn better feeding and nutrition techniques. These would not only help increase her son’s weight but also ensure that he remains healthy.
At the club’s sessions, Trung learned about different nutritious foods and how to prepare them in a way that retained nutrients. She also built a network with other mothers who were a source of encouragement for each other. Trung started noticing improvements in Linh after two months of being in the nutrition group. He gained weight and was smiling more often. He also seemed to have more energy to play and had a brighter face.
Trung is grateful for the club and volunteers who taught her, and other women, how to be better mothers to their children.