Healthy eating for mothers, babies and children: Facilitator guide for use by Community Health Workers
The Healthy Eating for Mothers and Children counseling cards are an all-purpose standard resource designed to equip community health workers (CHWs) – including volunteer health workers, primary health care staff and other peer educators, and caregivers – to support pregnant women during antenatal clinic visits and mothers of newborns during postnatal clinic visits. This facilitator guide has followed the approach of the UNICEF facilitator guide for the Community Infant and Young Child Feeding Counseling Package. We aim to complement the existing counseling package for the Community Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF). The training component of Healthy Mothers and Children Counseling Cards is designed to coach CHWs with technical knowledge on the recommended healthy eating for pregnant women and mothers of newborns using orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP) for complementary feeding with vitamin A rich food for the whole household. This guideline will help enhance their counseling, problem solving and intervention assistances in order to achieve inclusion of vitamin A enriched OFSP in the diet. The Seven Essential Nutrition Actions (ENAs) are all equally important in this training. These are: (1) Promotion of optimal nutrition for women; (2) Promotion of adequate intake of iron and folic acid and prevention and control of anemia for women and children; (3) Promotion of adequate intake of iodine by all members of the household; (4) Promotion of optimal breastfeeding during the first six months; (5) Promotion of optimal complementary feeding starting at 6 months with continued breastfeeding to 2 years of age and beyond; (6) Promotion of optimal nutritional care of sick and severely malnourished children; and (7) Prevention of vitamin A deficiency in women and children. Throughout the Facilitator Guide, the trainers are referred to as Facilitators and the trainees/learners as Participants.