Cooking Classes Transform Children's Health

Jan 25, 2017
By Laura Reinhardt; Edited by Leanna Cappiello

What if the food you had grown up learning how to cook ended up leaving your own child malnourished?

Many families in Honduras rely on corn alone for cooking ingredients to feed their children but neglect various nutrients that are important for kid's growth.

In his early years, Henry failed to grow, was perpetually exhausted and never smiled, according to his mother Birgilia. She worried about her son's long-term health.

To respond to the issue of malnutrition in children, World Vision has been teaching families to cook more nutritious meals for their kids using healthy, affordable food.

During cooking classes led by mothers in the community whose children are well-nourished, parents learn to incorporate greens into meals and fruit juices, using fresh ingredients that can be grown in their own gardens. Henry and his siblings loved the new food their mom was making, and Birgilia quickly noticed the transformative difference in their health.

"The children started to gain weight. There was a big change after we used the recipes [from World Vision]," she says.

See one example of a hearty soup recipe being taught to moms like Birgilia across Honduras. It incorporates tomato, onion, celery and chili pepper.

Birgilia learned to incorporate green vegetables into the traditional corn tortilla recipe. She calls them "super tortillas," and now she's sharing what she learned with other parents in the community.

Mothers who've taken cooking classes with World Vision's support have reported that their children are more awake, more active and have more energy. Henry is now a happy, healthy eight-year-old with a radiant smile. Good meals and healthy nutrition make a huge difference!

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