March was a month most nutrition advocates marched 4 nutrition by promoting targeted actions and investments to improve nutrition for mothers and children especially during a child's first 1000 days. Read this for more on a child's first 1000 days.
Though March is over, we at The Informed Mum would keep marching on till every child in Nigeria and the world at large gets a good chance to thrive.
Nutrition is a core element of health and development with long and short-term benefits for both the child, his parents, community and nation . We live in a society where many myths thrive. There are myths surrounding almost every facet of our lives. While some may be harmless, others may put us in harm's way. Listed below are some myths surrounding nutrition which could have consequences on a child's growth and development.
(1)A pregnant woman should not eat snails lest she delivers a sluggish baby who drools a lot . In reality, snail meat according to experts is a good source of protein, iron and several other minerals a pregnant woman needs. What is more, it is relatively cheap in many parts of Nigeria and there has been no evidence whatsoever linking it to sluggishness or excessive drooling in babies.
(2) Giving a child egg can induce stealing in the child. Eggs are said to have significant protein, vitamins and mineral contents which a growing child needs . They have never been known to induce stealing in a child. A child that steals does so for reasons other than eating eggs.
(3)Eating Ogbono, Okro or any draw soup when pregnant makes one deliver a baby with bald head. This particular myth is not only laughable but untrue and no evidence whatsoever exists to strengthen the myth. Some babies are born bald and it has nothing to do with consumption of draw soups.
(4) Fruits cause intestinal worms. This is very untrue . Fruits can get contaminated when grown in, or they get in contact with contaminated environments.The worms can then get transmitted when the fruits are not properly washed, hence the need to wash fruits in salted water or vinegar, especially those to be eaten raw . The sweetness of a fruit has noting to do with intestinal worms.
(5) Eating grass-cutter makes a pregnant woman's labor prolonged. This is laughable and untrue with absolutely no proven evidence backing it. A pregnant woman who wishes to avoid grass-cutter meat can do so for other reasons except prolonged labor as that myth holds no water.
(6) A mum breastfeeding a newborn should not eat fruits and vegetables as they will make the baby have stomach pain, diarrhea and jedi jedi. Most fruits and vegetables are rich in fibre and other nutrients vital for a breastfeeding mum. It is even necessary for a new mum to consume significant quantities of fruits and vegetables.
(7) Oily foods cause malaria. Malaria is caused by parasites of the Plasmodium family and is transmitted by the female anopheles mosquito. Oily foods DO NOT CAUSE MALARIA and there is absolutely no evidence to suggest so. Instead of avoiding oily foods because of malaria, sleep under insecticide treated nets and avoid mosquito bites as much as possible because they, and not oily foods cause malaria.
So when next someone tells you any of the myths above, advice the person to discard them as the myths could place them in harm's way.
You can add more of the myths you know in the comments section