June 3, 2023

The implementation of community quarantine provided parents more time to take care of their children, especially on their food and nutrition requirements.

Based on the National Nutrition Council mini-assessment on the effect of the Covid-19 to nutritional status of zero to 59 months old children in the Cordillera, 53 percent of the respondents reported an improved nutritional status for the age group.

Regional Nutrition Coordinator Rita Papey said of the 31 or 53 percent  who reported an improved nutritional status,  five also noted new cases of malnourished children;  23 or 40  percent shared that there are no changes in the nutritional status; two reported worsened nutrition status; and two did not comment citing lack of basis.

On the contributing factors of improved nutritional status of children, respondents cited more and better care for children especially with parents and other family members staying at home; adequate food supplies of the family; and food assistance from government, non government organizations, civic organization, and other private donors, Papey said.

The presence of vegetable farms and the farming communities in the region, close coordination/support of barangay scholars, and nutrition interventions from local government units also helped in improving the nutrition of children, she added.

Papey  said  58 respondents  composed of 40 barangay nutrition workers and 16 municipal nutrition action officers representing 22 municipalities, one provincial nutrition coordinator, and one nutrition coordinator from Baguio City representing  six  barangays  were involved  in the assessment. 

NNC-Cordillera Nutrition Officer Bella Basalong reminded the public to maintain healthy diet during the community quarantine.

Basalong advised the public to adhere to the Pinggang Pinoy nutritional guidelines being promoted by NNC that balances the Go, Grow and Glow foods, with focus given more on the consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Take less of fatty and sugary foods and make sure to drink eight to 10 glasses of water a day, she added.

Basalong also advised the public not to consume or use all the syrup or sauce of canned products and   not to pour all the seasonings for noodles.

As much as possible, add vegetables when cooking or eating canned goods and noodles, she said. – Carlito C. Dar