With the theme “Batang Pinoy SANA TALL, Iwas Stunting SAMA ALL!”, this year's Nutrition Month celebration calls for a collective vision of having taller Filipino children by preventing stunting, through the participation of government, non-government organizations, civil society, business, academe, communities, and families.
According to the Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute, the Philippines is one of the 10 countries with the most stunted under-five children in the world. Currently, one in three Filipino children 0-59 months old are stunted, with stunting highest among 12-23 months.
Stunting, or pagkabansot in Filipino, is the impaired growth and development experienced by children due to poor nutrition, repeated infection, as well as inadequate psychosocial stimulation.
As the lead agency for this campaign, the National Nutrition Council (NNC), encourages all stakeholders to ensure that families have access to nutritious food, the knowledge and skills to feed their children from locally sourced food, and access to services as provided in the “Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay” Act or RA 11148. Parents of 0-24 month-old children are highly encouraged to regularly bring their child to a health center for proper growth monitoring, and practice exclusive breastfeeding for two years or more.
Moreover, in six months’ time, parents can introduce complementary food while continuing breastfeeding. NNC Executive Director Dr. Azucena Dayanghirang noted that children would have the ability to reach their full growth and development potential when given proper nutrition and care. This can be done by incorporating fruits and vegetables to their diet.
Learn more about the upcoming activities of the NNC for the Nutrition Month celebration by visiting their Facebook page, National Nutrition Council (Official) or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.