Maternal and Child Health

Healthy Meals, Healthy Mother & Child: Nepal

A Recipe for a Bright Future

Healthy Meals, Healthy Mother & Child: Nepal

Two parts soybean, one part maize, one part wheat — it’s a simple recipe that helps tackle a huge problem: Almost half the children of Nepal suffer from chronic malnutrition, resulting in lifelong stunting of both their physical body and their mental capacity. The ingredients for “Sarbottam Pitho,” or “Super Flour,” can be fed to children as a nutritious porridge or flatbread, providing high-value protein, a variety of essential micronutrients and a vital helping of energy.

The recipe was developed by United Mission to Nepal’s nutrition staff 40 years ago from an old community practice that was dying out, and it uses ingredients and techniques that are common to any Nepali household. Adopted by the Nepali Ministry of Health, Sarbottam Pitho became a national response to poor child feeding practices and continues to be promoted by Nutrition Promotion and Consultancy Services (NPCS), a Nepali NGO founded on United Mission to Nepal’s nutrition work. Through its own community nutrition projects, as well as in the training it provides to other development organizations, NPCS continues its mission of enabling communities to improve their future by passing on good maternal and child feeding and health care practices. Making nutritious soup from wild stinging nettle, washing hands with water and ash from a cooking fire, putting a few cents toward the purchase of iodized salt to promote normal growth and development for school children — these are just some of the many simple steps  with which families can change the future for women and children, their communities, and their nation.


Deidre Zimmerman is a nutrition advisor for Nutrition Promotion and Consultancy Services in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Posted or updated: 8/24/2014 11:00:00 PM
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