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Growing children and Veganism
Newsletter • Tuesday 30 June 2020

Dear Friend

Most Animal Sourced Foods (ASF) contain ‘complete’ or high-quality proteins. In short, it includes all nine essential amino acids in adequate quantities for a  balanced human diet and super important for child growth. Diets consisting of only Plant Based Food must typically include a wider variety of foods and also combine varying food types to provide all amino acids in adequate quantities.

Does a Plant Based Diet have sufficient protein?

Well, YES, and NO - it is possible to do this, BUT affordability, knowledge and general availability make it difficult, particularly in low-resource settings. 

Obtaining continuous and adequate high-quality protein and micronutrients from plant-based foods can be challenging - particular for young children, who have small stomachs as fairly high volumes are required.

Since Animal Sourced Foods tend to be dense in many nutrients, smaller amounts can be eaten to meet requirements. 

Animal Sourced Foods is particularly important for reducing undernutrition among vulnerable groups in resource-poor settings. Infants, young children, and adolescents are undergoing periods of physiological change and accelerated growth; pregnant and lactating women have higher nutrient requirements due to fetal growth and milk production.

What about Soy products?

OK, so this is where many feeding programs miss the point. Soy foods contain large amounts of isoflavones which are changed in the body to "phytoestrogens," which are similar to the hormone estrogen. It also needs to undergo intense processes in order to make the soy bean edible and bio-available. Further to this, soy also has a bitter flavour needing lots of sugar to mask it. We all understand the negatives linked to high sugar content of children’s meals. 

There are simply not enough evidence to support the nutritional value of soy-based diets – especially in children!

Read more

But more about corn-soy meals in our next newsletter.

Why Protein?

Protein builds, maintains and repairs body tissue. 
It is especially important for growth. 

In South Africa many children from poor communities suffer from the lack of dietary protein. It is extremely important to address this matter and encourage school feeding schemes to make sure their meals contains ample protein and protein-rich food each day

Best Sources

Milk and other dairy products are excellent protein sources for children. There are a variety of vitamins and minerals which support growth and development during childhood. Calcium, obtained from milk and dairy products and from dark green, leafy vegetables, is usually sufficient nutritionally in the diets of young children. If these can not be afforded, the StartWell Meal has the full balanced spectrum pregnant woman and growing children needs.

Be Informed

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, South Africa is likely to see a spike in acute Malnutrition in the next few months. 

Many disaster management feeding schemes become involved but keep on supplying nutrient-poor maize-based corn-soy blends. These meals fill tummies but result in silent hunger as pregnant women do not have sufficient nutrients for their un-born, and during the critical period, which we call 'The First 1000 Days', children are exposed to the tragic outcome of being stunted for life.

Want to help? Find out how!

Know the difference between filling a tummy and giving real food.

Help us get proper food in school feeding schemes and also make it available to pregnant mothers by supporting the INANI Start Well Foundation Project.

Send us an email
The Meal

StartWell is a highly nutritious morning meal aimed for underprivileged communities in South Africa. Due to the value of the ingredients, the product is too expensive to be channeled through normal retail and government sponsored feeding schemes. Therefore, an innovative business model was designed and endorsed by various industry specialists and social impact strategists.

Learn more

In our next newsletter, we will address the nutritious value of corn-soy blends currently used by many South African child feeding schemes.

Until next time. Eat Well with StartWell!

Inani Start Well Foundation
Registered NGO: 207-917 NPO

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