Just like most mothers whose children always give them a headache by saying “yuck” to vegetable, Phum’s mom was one of them. Despite a variety of tricks applied or hundreds of reasons explained, her son insisted on not eating any vegetable. She couldn’t help but let it go although the consequence had her concerned. “He had underweight and often got sick,” she said.
According to National Statistical Office, in 2017 about one tenth or 2.5 hundred thousand of Thai children under 5 years of age had stunting. Boys from the southern region and children from impoverished families had higher rate of underweight and stunting when compared to other groups.
Sathing Phra district, Songkhla province is among the areas with quite a number of children with underweight and stunting due to undernutrition. Therefore, Sathing Phra Area Development Programme, World Vision Foundation Thailand (WVFT) has collaborated with the sub-district health promoting hospitals to measure children’s weight and height along with provide knowledge on child nutrition to parents and support milk, eggs and mushroom culture with substrates to families whose children are found with undernutrition.
Phum’s family has received this support. His mother grows mushrooms while Phum helps water them every evening. When the mushrooms are full-grown, Mom will ask Phum to pick them for her. He feels both excited and proud. When Mom cooks the mushrooms, he can’t wait to taste his mother’s mushroom recipes.
“Phum loves stir fried mushrooms. I couldn’t believe he’d love to eat mushrooms. From a kid who didn’t eat vegies, now he sometimes picks mushrooms for me to make a stir fried mushroom dish to eat,” Phum’s mother said as if she reads his mind while smiling with her eyes reflecting happiness.
The latest medical check-up has given Mom a big smile instead of worries, thanks to protein, calcium, potassium, phosphorus and vitamin B found in mushrooms, which help boost immune system and make Phum healthier.
Mom said with a smile on her face, “I’m so glad. After receiving milk, eggs and mushrooms from WVFT, Phum has gained weight and now he has proper weight according to the standard. He’s healthy and doesn’t get sick often like before. Many thanks to WVFT for giving good health to a little child in difficulty.”