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I4N awareness programme dispels misconceptions about nutrition and breastfeeding

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Senior Correspondent


BHOPAL: Prem Bai, a resident of Bilkisganj in Sehore district near Bhopal, on being asked whether she understood the definition of nutrition and where her child got nourishment from, was taken aback for a while.


Then, gathering herself, she replied – child gets nutrition from mother’s milk. And when a kid reaches the age of six months, it is fed pulse water and lentil snacks soaked in water. Similarly, Rampur Bai, another villager, said that feeding cookies melted in water to a child can fulfill its nutrition need.


Similar misconceptions about nutrition and breastfeeding were prevalent among the women who attended an awareness programme organised in Bilkisganj on the occasion of World Breastfeeding Week.


UNICEF Nutrition Specialist Dr Pushpa Awasthy shared information with the 50 attending women to dispel the myths and misconceptions. The programme was organised by Impact for Nutrition (I4N) – a corporate initiative in Madhya Pradesh supported by UNICEF and Jagran Lake City University.


She explained the advantages of feeding the newborn infant during the first hour. Dr Awasthy said that the mother's milk not only fills the stomach of the child but also sharpens its intelligence. She further stated that traditional food like honey, ‘ghutti’, and other liquids or semi-solids should not be given to the kid right after birth.


She told that lentils, rice, roti, vegetables, boiled potatoes, etc. can be given to the child by mashing them only when the kid is six months of age. Begin by feeding one to two teaspoonfuls to the baby, she advised.


Speaking on the occasion, Margaret Gwada, Chief of UNICEF Madhya Pradesh, said, "Mother’s milk is the best for the child, especially the first milk of the mother. Parents and grandparents are responsible for ensuring that the nutritional care related rights of all babies are fulfilled. To do so, all nursing women require assistance at home, in the community, and at work."


"We will try our best to take the message and information received in this programme to every household," Bilkisganj sarpanch Rajesh Jangde said.


On the occasion, students from Jagran Lake City University performed a short play illustrating the significance of nutrition. Tanmay, a JLU student, recited an interesting poem about his mother.


The members of Mahashakti Seva Kendra – local women’s organization - honoured the participating guests by tying rakhi. They created these unique rachis, dedicating them to the ‘mothers and kids’.