Gaza Child Nutrition

Nutritous lunhc meals in Gaza
Supporting malnourished and anaemic young children in Gaza

The ongoing blockade of Gaza continues to have a negative impact on the lives and health of the children in Gaza.

Stunting, or long term exposure to chronic malnutrition, remains high, found among 10% of children under 5. Anaemia, usually caused by iron deficiency, affects most children in Gaza (59% of school children, 68% of children 9-12months.)

The WA Emergency Child Nutrition Programme has been implemented in different areas of Gaza where there are the highest rates of unemployment and families are living in deep poverty. In Jabalia and Zeitun we prioritised three kindergartens: Ashbal Falasteen, Al Falah and Al Zahra kindergartens with 290 children for a 4-month period. These kindergartens are in the poorest neighbourhoods of Gaza, often facing conflict.

children-eating-300.jpgThe children underwent medical checks to identify their low health and nutritional needs at the start of the project, a nutritionist analysed the test results and planned daily meals each week for four months. Throughout the project, mothers and kindergarten teachers were involved in awareness raising sessions on health & hygiene around food, and healthy eating habits and practices to increase their knowledge on how to improve the children’s health and maintain their health to the extent possible, once the project ends.

We contracted a local women’s NGO to prepare the food using high quality ingredients and they took all precautions to ensure the food quality when reaching the children was optimal, including constant cleaning of their premises, secure packaging of the food, and hiring a taxi company to transport the food directly when it was ready. (Contracting a local NGO to produce the food generated an income for the women in this NGO.) In the kindergartens the teachers ensured all tables were cleaned before and after the lunch was served and that all children washed their hands before and after lunch.  The children’s health checks at the end of the project showed that malnutrition and anaemia were effectively tackled over this relatively short period of time, anaemia was reduced by almost 57%. The children’s improved health and energy and concentration in lessons were also reported by the kindergartens teachers and their families.

Sample Weekly Menu

  • Saturday:

    Rice (100 grams) and lentils cooked together (called mujadara locally) + salad containing cucumber, lettuce, tomato, carrot, etc (50 grams) + banana (150 grams) + fruit juice (200ml).

  • Sunday:

    Boiled egg (one unit) + tomato + thyme pastry + apple (150 grams) + bottle of water (250ml).

  • Monday:

    Pasta cooked with minced meat and tomato sauce (150 grams) + apple (120 grams) + candy with fruit pieces (150 grams) + fruit juice (200ml).

  • Tuesday:

    Rice cooked with minced meat (150 grams) + salad containing cucumber, lettuce, tomato, carrot, etc (50 gram) + milk pudding (100 grams).

  • Wednesday:

    Meat sandwich (kofta) (100 grams) with roasted potatoes (50 grams) + salad (50 grams) + fruit juice (200 ml).

  • Thursday:

    Rice (150 grams) cooked with mix of vegetable & beans (such as beans, corn, carrot, etc) + boneless chicken + fruit salad (100 grams).

See Also

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Specialised and community based rehabilitation services for children with serious injuries and disabilities in Gaza

Read more > Gaza CBR Supporting Children with Disabilities