Malnutrition usually starts in the first year of life because of poor infant and young child feeding practices. The period of 6 months to 2 years old is a critical period; there is an increased need for proper nutrition. 2 out of 10 children are underweight for age among the 0-5 year old Filipino and 3 out of 10 children are under-height-for-age. The physical and mental damages that will occur during this period is irreversible. Malnourished children have slow growth and development, becomes sickly and will have low performance in school. 

Last January 28, 2015, DOST-FNRI conducted an advocacy orientation on this Malnutrition Reduction Program in Provincial Hall of Surigao del Norte in Surigao City. This package is a nutrition intervention through complementary food blends and snack curls complemented with nutrition education among mothers and caregivers on basic nutrition and proper infant and young child feeding such as breastfeeding, complementary feeding, meal planning, safe food handling and preparation and backyard vegetable gardening. One of our partner agencies on combating malnutrition, Department of Science and Technology -Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) developed complementary food blends and snack food which are available for technology transfer to interested entrepreneurs under their the DOST PINOY or the Package for the Improvement of Nutrition of Young Children program. The FNRI provides technical assistance for local government units (LGUs), non-government organizations NGO) and private organizations who are interested to produce the complementary foods for livelihood and for use in their feeding program. The complementary food blends and snack curls include: rice mongo based commodities rich in energy and protein, multi-nutrient growth mix (MGM) fortified with vitamin A, iron, iodine, zinc and folic; and multi-nutrient growth mix (MGM) formulations using fruits and vegetables in ready-to-use sachet.

The Local Government of Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte is a recipient of this program and processing facility; technical expertise and resource persons from FNRI was provided to them to establish the program. The facility is expected to operate on the last week of February or first week of March this year.###