Personalized Nutrition Program
It was always evident that our Happy Kids were not exactly the healthiest kids on the block. Their eyes were always glassy, their noses dripped like a faucet, boney elbows stuck out like wings, but the beauty of their smiles and their endless energy made it easy to forget.
In 2017, prior to the development of our nutrition program, and really before our Health Program was fully developed we went out and bought a scale and a tape measurer. One by one we measured and weighed our Happy Kids checking their BMI against the World Health Organization’s statistics on Stunting, Wasting and Underweight children.
While we should not have been at all surprised, the results were staggering. We expected that a few of the children were underweight, but after this small test, we realized far more of our Happy Kids were malnourished than those who were healthy.
We wanted to act as quickly as possible, but none of us were doctors. We knew of effective approaches to address malnutrition, but we were unsure of how to implement them. We brought in a volunteer who had a background in nursing. She made contact with a her connections back home and we slowly built what we hoped would be the start of a nutrition program to change the very unhealthy trajectory of our Happy Kids growth.
We began implementing personalized nutrition plans for the children who were clearly the most in need. The results of just an egg, some fruit and a nutrition shake each day were palpable. These children were transforming in front of our eyes. It was then that we realized how great the need was and how simple the answer was as well.
Since the launch of that initial “nutrition plan” that helped just 3 children, we have implemented a full blown personalized nutrition program for 20 children in partnership with Siddhi Memorial Women and Children’s Hospital. It didn’t stop there. We realized that little additions to the diets of our Happy Kids were going such a long way, we could only imagine what adding school lunch and after school snacks could do to transform our Happy Kids.
And it has done just that. It has been a true transformation over the last year. We look forward to reporting back about the improved stat of our Happy Kids BMIS in as we witness just how much this program has changed their lives!
- HKC Meal Days are open to everyone in the community including parents
- School lunches are provided in partnership with Steps Together for all students of The Dyola School, Proxima International Academy, and Aadarsha Secondary School through EducateHKC
- After School Snacks are provided every day for all children at Happy Kids Center
- In Partnership with Siddhi Memorial Hospital, we have now identified the children from Happy Kids Center who are suffering from malnutrition. Each of these children has a personalized nutrition plan including a specialized diet which HKC is funding.
- Malnutrition in children is one of the leading causes of death in children across the world.
- This year more than 20 children from Happy Kids Center were identified as being undernourished, meaning they are significantly below the average on height, weight, BMI, or all of the above.
- By providing community meals and after-school snacks we are gathering the community together while providing important nutrition.
- By providing school lunch we are encouraging parents to send their children to school, if only so that they have something to eat. Since developing this program attendance has increased significantly.
- In partnership with INGO Steps Together, Happy Kids Center has hired a Didi to cook lunch for every student at Dyola School every day.
- School lunches, or money for school lunches are provided to all children enrolled in EducateHKC attending Proxima International Academy or Aadarsha Secondary School for every day they attend.
- After School Snacks are now being provided daily thanks to a donation from a secondary school in Colmar, France.
- Community Meal Days are provided every week thanks to #Meals4HKC. We have two Didis who do all of the cooking each week. All leftover food is sent home with the families who have the greatest need.