Local plants providing important nutrition in Kiribati

Local plants providing important nutrition in Kiribati

Feeding her family a balanced diet is important to Kiribati mother of four Titaa but unfortunately it's not always been easy for her to do.

“I always cook my family meals with vegetables that are available from the stores, but sometimes it is hard to get these vegetables especially when we have no money, or the vegetables run out," Titaa says.

About two years ago the ChildFund Kiribati team visited her home as part of its ongoing project to improve nutrition for children and families around Betio. Prior to that, Titaa did not know that native plants growing close to her home were highly nutritious and could be used in everyday family meals.

But now she knows she can pick the leaves of native plants like Iaroo, Iamai and mwangkongko to add nutrition and substance to her cooking.

It's exciting for Titaa to see her children enjoying the meals and trying out different recipes with the locally picked leaves. By gathering the leaves, it means a little less is being spent on food too.

“Now I use these leaves in my stir-fry and soup recipes and my family always enjoy their meals,” she says.

“Providing balance and healthy diets for my family is not such a problem anymore as now I have more local leaves to use in my cooking.”

ChildFund's Impact partnership with MFAT

ChildFund's nutrition project in Kiribati is part of a five year project supported by the New Zealand Government's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and through New Zealand supporters.

Read more about ChildFund projects supported by MFAT here.

ChildFund's Mother's Day appeal

This Mother's Day, give a seed card and not only make your mum or another special mum in your life to feel special, but help mothers, like Titaa, to provide for their children.

From little things, big things grow! This Mother’s Day, thank mum with a special gift that grows into wildflowers, and helps communities and children around the world to thrive. Gift your mum a limited-edition seed card, locally made by artists based in Whangarei. The card will literally grow into wildflowers when planted.

It’s more than just a card – it’s full of potential. It’s a meaningful gift that truly makes a difference. 

By purchasing this card, you’re making a donation to help children thrive. Your donation goes towards ChildFund’s projects around improving access to basic things like education, healthcare, clean water, or even a safe place to play. Gift this special card today and make a difference for a child and their family.