A Public Health Expert Mrs. Folasade Oladele, has counselled parents of young children to stop giving their children monotonous diets primarily consisting of rice and noodles if they want to ensure a healthy brain and improved academic performance in schools.
Oladele, Oyo State’s Health Promotion Officer, delivered this message during a four-day media review meeting by USAID-Breakthrough Action-Nigeria (BAN).
She highlighted the concerning trend of children being fed only rice or noodles, as mothers increasingly opt for convenience over nutrition in meal planning.
According to her, it was discovered during school visits by the Ministry, that some parents resort to sending their unwell children to school due to a lack of care at home, and some even send them to school without any food at all.
“The prevalence of mono diet is evident in both our state and schools,” Oladele remarked, emphasizing the need for mothers to embrace cooking with locally available ingredients.
She suggested alternatives like beans, bean puddy (moi-moi), and bean cake, which are not only cost-effective but also nutritious.
The adverse effects of mono diet on a child’s health and academic performance are undeniable. Malnutrition and poor scholastic outcomes become genuine concerns, warranting mothers’ attention.
Oladele further cautioned against buying food for children from eateries or food joints, as this practice can adversely affect their health.
“For picky eaters who dislike beans, mothers can incorporate ripe plantain to add sweetness. Combining beans with yam or rice can also make it more appealing. Furthermore, locally available vegetables garnished with locust beans or fish can be served to children,” she recommended.
A dietary change, she asserts, is integral to nurturing healthy brains and enhancing academic performance among school-going children.
Also at the review meeting, the State Coordinator of USAID-BAN, Mrs. Toyin Afanchang emphasized the agency’s dedication to raising awareness about diseases like tuberculosis, malaria, and COVID-19 vaccinations.
She stressed the importance of promoting behavior change and guiding individuals toward appropriate healthcare services.
What is mono diet?
According to Healthline, mono diet also known as monotrophic diet is an eating pattern that involves eating just one food item or food group for several days or weeks at a time.
It added that mono diet promotes unhealthy and unsustainable eating habits by encouraging the consumption of a single food item or food group.