Breastfeeding and Early Childhood Nutrition

Felci Sanam Opat | August 6, 2013

Felci Sanam Opat and her son. Photo: CWS

Felci Sanam Opat and her son. Photo: CWS

Breastfeeding is the world’s most effective way of reducing early childhood deaths and is vital for proper infant nutrition. In Indonesia, CWS is helping mothers learn about the benefits of breastfeeding and empowering them with the tools they need to ensure their children get the proper nutrition they need to thrive. New mother Felci Sanam Opat tells her story:

I have a 6 month-old son. My family and I live in a house with a small back yard, where we plant some corn, cassava and other crops. I did not know much about food and nutrition.  I only knew two ways to prepare cassava – steamed or fried.

Then, I heard from a group at the church about a cooking demo that CWS holds for mothers of children under 5 years of age in our community health center. I was curious, so I attend the cooking demo. It was interesting. The information delivered was about nutrition and child health, especially for younger children.

It was important for me because I have a baby. And I want him to be healthy and provided with good nutrition.

First, a CWS officer talked about various local foods in West Timor. Then, she explained what nutrients were contained in them. We were also equipped with the skills to prepare various delicious foods from the same ingredients. Moreover, the CWS officer taught us how to set weekly menus for our families – especially menus that are good for the kids.

I received a lot of information. Various recipes, which were shared during the activity, are very useful for a mother like me who wants her kids to get the nutrition they need, yet not be bored from eating the same type of food every day. Now I know how to prepare a delicious and nutritious cake made from cassava.

My family, especially my baby who will soon start to eat solid food, can enjoy not only steamed and fried cassava, but also delicious cassava cake called ‘tar-singkong.’  I can find the basic ingredients in my own garden. The cooking demo not only provided us information about food and nutrition, but also about how to maintain hygiene and cleanliness and the importance of breastfeeding. The breast milk I’m giving my baby now will help him to go through his first five years optimally and I will keep breastfeeding my baby.

What I’m learning will help me to contribute to my child’s healthy growth and development. This is very good for other mothers in this village as well.