Koronadal City, South Cotabato – The 2016 Nutrition Month Celebration in Region XII culminated with an array of activities on July 29, 2016 at The Farm @ Carpenter Hill, Koronadal City.

In coordination with the Department of Health (DOH) XII, the National Nutrition Council (NNC) XII spearheaded the activity which was attended by the representatives of the different regional line agencies, LGUs, academe and NGOs.

The following events highlighted the culmination activity: a) Launching of Nutri Quiz on the Air, Gulayan sa Opisina and Barangay, and Breast Feeding Stations in selected strategic locations in Region XII; b) Complementary food cooking contest for 6-23 month-old babies; c) Nutri Quiz; d) Photo Exhibit relevant to the first 1,000 days of the child; e) Nutri-poem writing contest; and f) Search for Malusog na Buntis.

This year’s celebration centered on the theme “First 1,000 days ni baby pahalagahan para sa malusog na kinabukasan.” The theme gives importance to the first 1,000 days of the life of a child from conception until his/her 2nd birthday. NNC describes the 1,000-day period as critical because it is the time when growth faltering happens. It also cited some studies that showed a link between undernutrition, especially stunting, in the first years of life or overnutrition in the later years.

The First 1000 Days has been called the “golden window of opportunity” for a comprehensive package of nutrition and related interventions to achieve significant changes in the reduction in child stunting, underweight, and wasting, at the same time contributes to complete child development.

Thus, this year’s theme focuses on the nutrition of the mother and child coupled with proper peri-natal cares. It aims to create awareness on the importance of proper infant and young child feeding practices, particularly exclusive breastfeeding for the first six (6) months and giving appropriate complementary food after six months while continuing breastfeeding. (Helen L. Vestal -NEDA XII, DRD)