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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Many Go Without ...

For orphaned children, or children from extremely poor families, a small roll of injera each day is considered a meal or most of a meal for one day (it may be supplemented with a cup of tea in the morning and evening). 

Although many go without even this small bit of food, many children subsist on injera only (without any fruits, vegetables or additional protein to balance their diet or provide what they need for growth, strength and brain development).  And a diet without proper nutrition and protein leads to malnutrition, stunted growth, difficulty with learning and susceptibility to illness and disease.

Injera is a spongy, pancake-like "bread" made with Teff (a type of grain grown in Ethiopia) that forms the basis of the diet in Ethiopia (and is harvested by hand).


The grain is blended with water and allowed to ferment for a few days, which gives it a slightly sour flavor which works deliciously with cooked vegetables and spicy wot (meat stews). 



Even though it is considered highly nutritious for a grain (high in calcium, amino acids and other core nutrients) it does not provide the vitamins and nutrients in fruits and vegetables or the high protein content of meat or eggs.

At Kind Hearts and Trees of Glory CarePoints in Ethiopia, the children have injera, rice or pasta every day along with cooked vegetables (usually green beans, peppers, potatoes and carrots).  Meat in the form of spicy stew (wot) is provided once a week or every other week, and at Trees of Glory, because of the poultry farm, the children get eggs every day or every other day, along with milk from the livestock!

The short video clip below shows Daru (our family's sponsor child at Trees of Glory) eating injera with wot.  For us Americans, it takes a little practice to become adept at scooping up the stew with the injera, but for the little kids, it's second nature.

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