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Nourish the First 1000 Days for a Healthy Future

Have you ever wondered why there are children experiencing all sorts of malnutrition even at a very young age? They would either be short for their age, thin for their height, heavy for their age, and so on. These forms of malnutrition all come from having poor nutrition at the very start of their lives.


That is why this Nutrition Month, the National Nutrition Council calls us to act on the theme “Malnutrisyon patuloy na labanan, First 1000 Days tutukan!”. The First 1000 Days of life is the period that starts from the conception of a mother up to the first two years of a child: 270 days (Pregnancy) + 180 days (0-6 months: Exclusive breastfeeding) + 550 days (7-24 months: Complementary feeding with breastfeeding) = 1000 days.


By prioritizing the First 1000 Days, we can ensure that our children will grow well-nourished, will better perform in school, and will have fewer risk of life-threatening diseases. We believe that our children will grow healthy and productive as they grow into adults later in life.


The longest period in the First 1000 Days is the breastfeeding stage which happens right after birth. Breastfeeding is a natural way to feed babies. But more than that, it creates a special bond between mother and child which provides nourishment, comfort, and love. Breastfeeding exclusively in the first 6 months is important. This means that aside from breastmilk, no other solids and liquids, not even water are fed to the baby. It is a complete food which provides perfect nutrition the infant needs for healthy growth, better cognitive development, and strong immunity. After the first 6 months, the baby is then gradually introduced with other liquid and solid foods still accompanied by breastfeeding.


On the other hand, according to the 2020 Rapid Nutrition Assessment conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), only few mothers breastfeed their babies. Only a little more than half or 59.7% of children 0-23 months old are currently breastfed. Even during the pandemic, 19% of mothers stopped breastfeeding and the reasons were that the mother decided not to breastfeed, the mother returned to work, and the child did not want to breastfeed. Moreover, some mothers are frustrated to not be able to breastfeed because of several probable factors such as fatigue, pain, worry, and doubts.


To help lactating mothers in their breastfeeding journey and boost their will to breastfeed, COOKMUNITY® by Ajinomoto Philippines prepared these easy-to-cook special recipes filled with nutrients for their greater nutritional needs:


  • Umami Mommy Burger – Our recipes are packed with energy-giving nutrients to help compensate for the energy loss and fatigue they experience. The Umami Mommy Burger is heavy with nutritious Carbohydrates like sweet potato, bread, spinach, lettuce, and tomatoes that will help moms recuperate after a tiring day from work, chores, and breastfeeding their babies. Laing with Malunggay Leaves
  • Laing with Malunggay Leaves – At pregnancy and birth, mothers lose their Iron stores and are at-risk of having Iron Deficiency Anemia. Thus, we created a recipe that will help fill the high demands for Iron lost during this period. The Laing with Malunggay Leaves dish provides 35% of the daily nutritional needs for Iron of a breastfeeding mom which is important for restoring their iron stores. Laing with Malunggay Leaves
  • Squash Spaghetti in Cheesy Malunggay Sauce – Another recipe highlights the use of nutrient-rich vegetables suited for the nutrient needs both of the mother and child such as Vitamin A and Calcium. The Squash Spaghetti in Cheesy Malunggay Sauce is rich in these vitamin and mineral that is important for the mother and optimal health, growth, and development of breastfeeding infants. Laing with Malunggay Leaves
  • Milk-Boosting Salad – Promoting the consumption of Fiber-rich foods with low glycemic indices help regulate the blood sugar of lactating mothers. The Milk-Boosting Salad made of Adlai rice is rich in fiber and has a low glycemic index. Milk-Boosting Salad

Finally, these dishes were made special and delicious by Ajinomoto’s safe and high quality products for breastfeeding moms. If you are a breastfeeding mom or you have someone in the family who is breastfeeding, nourish both the mother and child by preparing highly nutritious meals. Also note that this could be applicable to pregnant moms. During their pregnancy, we should also provide meals like these to help achieve their high demands for nutrients. Without nourishing our pregnant and lactating moms, what kind of future would we offer our children? We decide. Let’s promote, support, and protect the First 1000 Days of life.


References:
2021 Nutrition Month powerpoint presentation ( https://www.nnc.gov.ph/downloads/category/230-nutrition-month-presentations?download=2957:nutrition-month-ppt-as-of-16-june-2021 )

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