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Malnutrition <h2 class="sectHeading">Symptoms of malnutrition</h2><p>Malnutrition is a serious problem in South Africa and is one of the biggest causes of child illness and death. Even though we live in such a rich country, many of our people cannot afford to eat properly or are not eating enough of the right foods. As community members and families, we need to make sure that the people we care about are eating enough of the right kinds of foods.</p><div class="notification with-heading white-copy blue bg-navy"><div class="graphic no-border"> <i class="info caring"></i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Did you know?</h4><p> <b>A caring city:</b> The City is serious about food security. This means we are working hard to make sure our communities and people are eating properly. One way we do this is to encourage people and groups to grow their own food. <a href="">Learn more and help us</a> make our city a place of abundance and health. We can also help our people eat better. <a href="">Find out more about eating healthily</a> and enough of the right kinds of food.</p></div></div><p> <b>The most common signs of malnutrition are:</b></p><ul><li>unexplained weight loss;</li><li>weak immune system; and</li><li>inappropriate weight and height for age.</li></ul><p> <b>A malnourished person (adult or child) may also:</b></p><ul><li>feel tired all the time and lack energy;</li><li>often have infections and/or take a long time to recover from infections;</li><li>struggle with concentration;</li><li>struggle to keep warm; and</li><li>become strangely irritable, sluggish or anxious.</li></ul><p>We have created a poster showing the symptoms of malnutrition. Download it and share it with your friends, family or display it in the classroom.</p> <span> <div class="infographic bg-font-adjust-bg">​​​​​​​​​ <figure> <img class="responsive" alt="placeholder" src="" /></figure> <figcaption> <p> <span class="infoGraphicSpan">PDF<br>​​<strong>MALNUTRITION SYMPTOMS</strong></span></p> <a title="Download malnutrition symptoms PDF" class="btn dark-blue" href="" target="_blank"><i class="icon download"></i>Download PDF</a> </figcaption> </div></span> <p>Although adults can also suffer from malnutrition, it affects children more and is very serious because it stunts physical growth and mental development. Children with diseases like <a href="">TB</a> and <a href="">HIV</a> have a higher risk of malnutrition.</p><div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info note"></i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Please note</h4><p>A child can be overweight or obese and still be malnourished! This can happen when the child’s diet is high in fat and sugar but low in essential vitamins and minerals. </p></div></div><p>If a child is malnourished, their immune system becomes weak. This means they could struggle to recover from illnesses that a healthy child of the same age would overcome more easily.</p><h2 class="sectHeading">Preventing malnutrition in our families and communities</h2><p>Malnutrition doesn't happen if people eat enough of the rights kinds of food – food that is fresh and full of vitamins and minerals. But eating a fully balanced diet is not possible for all Capetonians. Meat, dairy, and fresh fruit and vegetables are often more expensive than basics like maize and bread. However, we can all take steps to eating better and staying healthy.</p><p>You can start by finding out <a href="">why you should eat healthy</a> and how to go about <a href="">s​taying healthy</a>. If you don’t have a lot of extra cash, consider <a href=""> growing food at home</a> or in a <a href="">community garden</a>. </p><p>You could also keep livestock like chickens or cows and have fresh milk and eggs almost every day. Find out how to <a href="">keeping livestock in the city</a> and ensuring you treat your animals correctly and with care.</p><h2 class="sectHeading">Preventing malnutrition in children</h2><p> <b>If you are a parent or caregiver, we recommend you do the following:</b></p><ul><li>Bring your newborn to <a href="">your local clinic</a> for regular check-ups. Health care staff will monitor your child's development and growth.</li><li>Breastfeed your child exclusively until six months of age before introducing appropriate foods. You can continue breastfeeding until the child is two years old or just beyond two.</li></ul><div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info note"></i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Please note</h4><p>The timely and safe introduction of solid foods is very important. Not doing this puts your child at risk of becoming malnourished. Visit <a href="">your local clinic</a> for advice on how to safely introduce solid foods into their diet.</p></div></div><ul><li>If you are <a href="">HIV positive</a>, go to a local clinic for breastfeeding advice.</li><li>Pay attention to what your family eats.</li><li>Make sure your child eats a balanced diet.</li><li>Make sure your child’s vaccinations are up to date to protect them from illnesses that can put them at risk of malnutrition.</li><li>Be alert to your environmental hygiene (e.g. sanitation and water supply) to prevent your child from getting illnesses like diarrhoea.</li></ul> <span> <h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​Healthy snacks for kids</h2></span><span><figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"><img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:1146px;" />​ </figure></span> <p>Growing children need different amounts of specific nutrients at different ages. Help your child to eat healthy food by offering delicious, easy-to-prepare snacks.</p><ul><li>Popcorn is easy to make and high in fibre.</li><li>Pre-cut vegetables and dips are a healthy alternative to the traditional crisps and dip.</li><li>Cut veggies into different shapes so they become fun to eat.</li><li>Nut butters (e.g. peanut, almond or cashew butter) are a great way to get kids to switch from white bread to brown, seed or wholewheat bread. They’re also rich in proteins and healthy fats.</li><li>Add flavour to plain water with sliced lemons, cucumber, apple or mint.</li><li>Frozen seedless grapes are sweet but healthy and create a delicious “pop” in the mouth.</li><li>Make plain yoghurt tastier by adding fresh fruit, nuts or seeds.</li><li>Blend and freeze fruits and turn them into ice-lollies for a sweet treat.</li><li>Boiled eggs are easy to carry in a lunchbox and provide high-quality protein as well as lots of vitamins and minerals.</li></ul><p>Download our healthy snacks poster and share it with your family or classroom.</p> <span> <div class="infographic bg-font-adjust-bg">​​​​​​​​​ <figure> <img class="responsive" alt="placeholder" src="" /></figure> <figcaption> <p> <span class="infoGraphicSpan">PDF<br>​​<strong>HEALTHY SNACKS FOR CHILDREN</strong></span></p> <a title="Download the healthy snacks for children PDF" class="btn dark-blue" href="" target="_blank"><i class="icon download"></i>Download PDF</a> </figcaption> </div></span> <p>More and more of our Early Childhood Development centres have food gardens that provide healthy, nutritious food to the children in our care. Our vision is to have food gardens at every City ECD centre. See all of our <a href="">ECD centres</a> with food gardens. </p><h2 class="sectHeading">Treating malnutrition</h2><p>If you or someone you know is suffering from malnutrition, you should first speak to a health professional before taking the next step. Most of our clinics treat child illnesses and offer nutritional support and advice, and some also have basic services for young babies and children.</p><p> <a href="">Find your nearest clinic.</a></p>GP0|#1be1d2dc-a843-4632-9549-f774e30e81cc;L0|#01be1d2dc-a843-4632-9549-f774e30e81cc|Malnutrition;GTSet|#ef3a64a2-d764-44bc-9d69-3a63d3fadea1;GPP|#fe19bc42-9232-4590-8313-a4e3dae57d27;GPP|#090e430c-3809-42d5-a80b-caea93b2beaf;GPP|#245ec7aa-a528-4cd3-bcac-597c292db711;GP0|#54965944-8cb2-4f23-9c6a-d2618803c4cc;L0|#054965944-8cb2-4f23-9c6a-d2618803c4cc|Malnutrition;GPP|#2d6a7734-d454-42c6-944c-d71f4d3dbc09;GPP|#063a6668-d6cb-4c45-adaf-f559697b85fdUnderstand the causes and dangers of malnutrition in your child and what you can do to prevent it.





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