caraga dostpinoy42015The Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST), is the lead agency in food and nutrition research and development in the country. One of its missions is to provide innovative technologies to fight malnutrition. In Caraga Region, the municipality of Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte is a recipient of DOST PINOY (Package for the Improvement of Nutrition of Young Children). DOST PINOY is a component of Malnutrition Reduction Program which aims to reduce the prevalence of undernutrition among infants and young children. The local government’s counterpart for the said project is to provide building/space for the processing area, the needed manpower and ingredients/materials to produce the DOST-FNRI developed complementary food products.

To start up, the FNRI-DOST conducted a 2-day DOST PINOY training workshop in Gigaquit, Surigao Del Norte last March 25-26, 2015. The participants were volunteer health workers and barangay nutrition scholars (BNS) from different barangays. It was also participated by Ms. Leah Vina P. Vargas, Nutrition Officer I of National Nutrition Council Caraga and some of the regional DOST staff. The participants were trained on how to teach mothers and caregivers about basic nutrition, maternal nutrition and how to prepare Bigmo. Bigmo is a cheaper rice-mongo blend, a nutritious complementary DOST PINOY food product.

Appropriate complementary feeding and breastfeeding are discussed in the training. Breastfeeding is one of the best practices of good nutrition. Exclusive breastfeeding is done from birth up to the first six months of life. Complementary feeding starts after 6 months to meet the nutritional need of a growing child.  Nutritious foods are added in the child’s diet while breastfeeding is continued. The participants also learned how to do affordable meal planning, backyard gardening and handling and preparing foods safely.

Ms. Vargas and DOST staff from different provinces were toured in the food processing plant. The facility will soon be opened to produce the DOST-FNRI developed complementary food products which can be availed by the neighboring municipalities, cities and provinces.