Gender and Social Protection Minister is mounting a spirited campaign for better nutrition for children under five years, particularly those of head porters popularly called kayayei and those with the country’s orphanages.
Otiko Djaba believes better nutrition for children in their formative years is the greatest ever investment parents can make in the lives of their children
She was therefore thoroughly excited with the launch of the Cerelac Iron Plus, an enhanced complementary feeding product for children under age five.
Madam Djaba who has made issues of Kayayei, and other vulnerable groups a focal point of her administration in the Gender Ministry, seized the opportunity to appeal to Nestle Ghana Limited producers of the Cerelac Iron plus to assist in sponsoring the nutritional upkeep of children in these vulnerable groups.
Speaking at the launch of the product, the mother of four children said the only way there can be peace in the house is for parents to feed their children well and with the right nutritional values.
“The good health and total well being of children cannot be ignored,” she said, for which reason poor parents with children have been identified as distinct category of beneficiaries in this year’s Livelihood Empowerment Programme (LEAP).
The World Health Organisation has stated that breast feeding is non-negotiable for children in their first six months.
However, after six months there is the need for complementary diets to supplement the nutritional needs of children which the breast milk will be lacking.
A lecturer and child nutritionist Eunice Berko Nartey, said of all the 13 nutritional needs of children, most of which are in breast milk, iron has been found to be in limited supply.
It is for this reason that Nestle Ghana Limited has introduced the Cerelac Iron Plus to complement the iron deficiency in breast milk and in children by extension.
The Business Executive Officer of Nestle Nutrition, Central and Western Africa Philip Hascout said “optimal feeding is critical for adequate growth of children.”
Highlighting the risk involved in poor nutrition, Mr Hascort said children are highly exposed to morbidity and mal-nutrition if they are poorly fed.
Speaking on the theme complementary feeding in infancy, the role of iron, the Nestle West and Central Africa head said: Nestle fully supports breastfeeding for the first six months in the lives of Children.
He added “the promotion of breastfeeding and appropriate feeding could stop anemia and mal-nutrition in children.
He also indicated that the “right nutrition during the 1000 day window for children is very important” for which reason Nestle has produced the product that will adequately satisfy the nutritional needs of children.
Cerelac Iron plus is available in in five varieties of wheat, maize, rice, fruit and millet in both 400 and 50g formats.