Sunday, December 4, 2022
HomeHealth & FitnessHealthy Choices for Healthy Living

Healthy Choices for Healthy Living

Maintaining public awareness about the importance of nutrition has been a “lifelong” mission of the Grenada Food and Nutrition Council (GFNC).
As GFNC celebrates Nutrition Week 2020, which gets underway on Tuesday (June 23), The Grenadian Voice takes note of some of the statutory body’s achievements during that past 40 years of dedication to the health and well-being of citizens.
From revising the national Food Based Dietary Guidelines under the theme “Healthy Choices for Healthy Living Guidelines for Grenadians” to developing and implementing the National School Nutrition Policy. In collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health, the Council continues to monitor food and nutrition programmes throughout the nation.
The Council takes a holistic approach to its responsibilities to serve as Grenada’s specialised technical food and nutrition resource, and provides advisory and coordinating services to multi-sectoral bodies.
A draft Infant and Young child Feeding Policy is in the works, while training continues for care supervisors, employees and nurses in infant and young child feeding settings.
Monitoring requires surveys, which help the Council to identify, assess and define food and nutrition problems in Grenada, especially among the vulnerable groups.
These include the annual day care survey and the pre-school surveys, which are carried out every four years.
The council also assesses elderly citizens residing in government supported geriatric homes, a service that was introduced in 2017.
Food assistance is provided to families with underweight children that are routinely monitored by the Council. These children are monitored until normal status is attained and up to age 5, whichever is first attained.
The outreach of the Council is witnessed through the popular annual National Secondary Schools Nutrition Quiz, the ‘Curious Little Hands in the Kitchen’ summer classes for seven to 12-year olds, the quarterly Evening in the Kitchen for adolescents and adults alike, as well as participation in local and community events.
In its role to provide nutrition counseling, the Council has stepped up as Grenada copes with the new coronavirus pandemic by increasing education programmes that guide the population in the use of local foods and to support healthful eating during the pandemic and beyond.
Counseling services date back to the 1990s, when the Council introduced monthly nutrition counseling in health centres for patients living with chronic diseases.
Currently, this service is provided at 11 clinics, as well as the Council’s office on Upper Lucas Street in Saint George’s for persons who may have challenges accessing the public facilities.
Looking ahead, executive secretary Lydia Browne hopes for “a permanent home for the Council, so that people can have easy access to our services.
“The Council, which falls under the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, will enhance training sessions in the use of locally produced foods,” to support the Ministry’s food security strategy.

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