Notes to broadcasters: Children and nutrition

    | September 23, 2013

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    When children get to school age, there are many shocks in store for them: new friends, new faces, new teachers, and new environments − to name but a few. But when they become familiar with their schools, children develop an undeniable appetite to learn, to inquire and to achieve. To bring out their best, it is essential that they − like everyone else − have the right kinds of food to fuel their growth and feed their creativity.

    Malnutrition is defined as the condition that develops when the body does not get the right amount of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients it needs to maintain bodily tissues and organ health. The term is commonly used to refer to those who do not have enough to eat, or are undernourished. But people who are overnourished, or overweight, can also be malnourished if they do not consume enough essential nutrients. For more information about malnutrition, please visit these sites:

    The website of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) also provides useful background information:

    Farm Radio International has produced many scripts on health and nutrition. You can browse our archive here: Here are some Farm Radio Weekly stories related to nutrition:

    Zimbabwe: Women grow better lives near the city (FRW 168, August 2011)

    Mali: Traditional healers join fight against malnutrition (FRW 165, July 2011)

    Farm Radio International is involved with several projects that seek to improve nutritional standards for children and women. Find out more here:

    This piece from FRW #190 (February 2012) reports on a radio series called Bushes That Grow Are the Future Forest, which aired in Zambia. This link takes you to 13 full radio scripts from the series:

    Poor nutrition and hunger are all too common in sub-Saharan Africa, especially in rural areas. You might wish to produce a program that covers the basic facts of nutrition and malnutrition, how to recognize and treat the symptoms of malnutrition, or how to prevent malnutrition and promote good nutrition.

    As well as presenting facts, ask women and men farmers what they understand by malnutrition, and try to identify and clarify any misconceptions. Why not interview health experts or NGOs that work on nutrition and health? You could also explore the links between agriculture and nutrition, such as growing vegetables to diversify diets. It is a huge topic, so be creative!