Thursday, February 14, 2008

Let's talk about peanut butter, malnutrition and 'Plumpynut'

On the plane on the way to Honduras, I saw a 60 Minutes newsclip about Plumpynut -- a peanut butter, powdered milk, oil, confectioners sugar and vitamin/mineral mixture which is saving the lives of starving children in (mostly African) third world countries.

All those years when I was giving my children peanut butter and powdered milk balls I thought they were just eating a tasty treat, not a nutritional supplement! I began to wonder if perhaps we could mix up something similar to use with the nutrition hospital patients. When we got there, I did some online research to learn more about Plumpynut and set to work devising a recipe that could be duplicated after we were gone.

The children loved the stuff--even little Maria Suyapa (at least after the first few days when it was a struggle to get her starved little body to accept any formula that wasn't very diluted). The children are each given a small ball of it twice a day for a supplemental snack. They call it nutra manĂ­ which basically means "nourishing peanut".

Notice how much better Maria Suyapa looked already after a week or 10 days of formula supplemented with ever-larger tastes of nutra manĂ­. (The baby on the right is 18 months old and was a new admission to the nutrition hospital.)


Blogger Renna said...

It's amazing how God works, to have you see that tv clip on your way to Honduras, equipping you with knowledge to help save those precious babies.

Praise God!

5:54 PM  

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