Even in New Zealand, it can be difficult for us to cook a nutritious meal. Many times, we default to what's easiest, most available, or most affordable. Imagine what it would be like to live in a country where high-quality ingredients were not easy to come by. For children and families living in ChildFund-supported communities, this is often the reality. That is why I believe cooking courses for parents are some of the best Christmas presents.
Earlier this year, I was able to travel to the Pacific to meet some of the children, youth and families who live in Betio, our ChildFund-supported community in Kiribati. On this remote and densely-populated island, nutritious food is scarce. Because access to fresh water is limited and the soil in Kiribati isn't very rich in nutrients, growing vegetables, like lettuce or cabbage for example, is really, really tough. Instead of providing healthy ingredients for their children, families often purchase white rice or fried food from local vendors, neither of which are very healthy for growing children.
Isa's mum in Betio, Kiribati...
I met four-year-old Isa and her mum, Alani, when I was in Betio, Kiribati. This family lives in the area of the island where ChildFund staff members have been regularly visiting each household over the past few years. On these visits, parents are given information about child development, health, safety and ways to improve their income. Through the household visits, Alani was enrolled in a ChildFund-led cooking course in the community, to help her identify which local ingredients are the most nutritious for a growing child. Also, the course included lessons on how to grow nutritious vegetables, some cooking tips to ensure the most nutrients aren't lost in the cooking process, and signs to watch out for to ensure Isa grows up healthy and strong.
While I was visiting with her, she prepared lunch for Isa using all locally-available native plants from her community. One memory I have from watching Isa eat her lunch, is that she couldn't stop eating it! She would still be chewing her bite, and another would be on the way into her mouth -- it was that delicious!
Give the amazing gift of Cooking Courses for Parents like Alani this Christmas!
If you take a look through ChildFund's Gifts that Grow Christmas Gift Catalogue, you will be able to find wonderful ways to help children and youth to thrive. For just $45, you can help parents, like Alani, to take part in cooking courses by purchasing the Cooking Course for Parents. This will help children in the Pacific to grow up healthy and strong. Why not give this gift to your parents as a way to say "thank you" for being a great mum or dad this Christmas?
And, thanks to the support of the New Zealand Government, this gift will help even more children and youth to thrive. That's because your donation will be matched to provide more impact in the Pacific. So don't wait! Give a gift your family and friends will love - Cooking Courses for Parents!