As a part of ProPan Project, the food preparation and feeding demonstration exercises along with counseling sessions started at the Anganwadi centres (AWCs) in July/August. The mothers and caregivers were counseled on optimal feeding practices along with a hands-on demonstration on food preparation using locally available foods.
In one such session on 12th August, Rita Sahu of Papadahandi block, Nabarangpur district in Southern Odisha shared that she had fed Cerelac to her son since he was 4 months old (now 9 months old). Hearing this, Chandrama Maharana, the Anganwadi worker (AWW) counseled Rita on the ill effects of feeding Cerelac and motivated her to try Chatua kheeri that was freshly prepared during the food preparation session at AWC. To Rita’s amazement, her son cheerfully ate the ‘chatua kheeri’ and she readily agreed on feeding homemade food to her son. But her family was not agreeing with this situation. The AWW attempted to make Rita’s family understand the value of homemade food. Now, it’s been two months that Rita has stopped giving Cerelac to her child.
She says that her child is more active than before and even his motions are clear and is gaining weight steadily. She is also able to save money as she can give a nutritious meal to her child at a very low cost using locally available foods.