Proof of concept
A Healthy Diet for the Children of Campus Challenge
First aim of the project was to improve the menu of 150 differently abled children and youth, aged 8-13 years and their caretakers, all living at ‘Campus Challenge’ in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. With a well-defined process the project was able to show significant health effects.
More than half of the group and especially girls suffered from stunted growth (too small for age) and more than 80% of the children had anaemia, which reduces well-being, causes fatigue and lethargy, and impaired physical capacity and work performance.
Local food availability was assessed and proved to be adequate to ensure improvement of the menu, without supplementation. The local team implemented a revised menu in 2015, based on the provided recommendations.
Nutritional health of the children was again assessed 3-6 months after implementation of the new menu. Results were above expectations, especially regarding anaemia, which dropped from 82 to 31%. A medical check in 2018 showed further improvement with a drop in prevalence of anaemia to 14%, comparable to the situation in developed countries.
This intervention shows that health can be improved by an adapted diet based on local available foods. Supplements, sprinkles or enriched products are often used, but don’t contribute to sustainable, affordable and healthier dietary habits.
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What is the current situation? (2022)
The children are more active, healthier and have better performance in class. The results are sustainable.
Meanwhile, the vegetable garden yields so much that we can sell some of it. And the kitchen has been completely renovated and professionalised.
The intervention and advice of the Green Food Foundation have been essential for the well-being on campus.
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