8 March 2021
International Women’s Day 2021
This International Women’s Day, we have in our minds and hearts the mothers who continue each day to strive at leading by example our next generations of children and young people.
Child health and well-being
Nutrition is one of the key elements of a happy, healthy childhood and it is important that all infants, children and young people have access to nutritious fruits, vegetables and foods.
In considering child health and wellbeing, particularly for those from BME communities, one mother explains how a variety of familiar foods are part of this endeavour;
“For BME mothers, we often enjoy cooking and preparing fruits and vegetables of our heritage. Okra, yam, plantain, mangoes, figs, pomegranates…the list is endless of the nutritious foods we have a cultural connection with.
And as mothers to under 5-year-olds, many mums receive Healthy Start vouchers to assist with the purchase of fruits, vegetables and milk. And yet we are aware that many migrant mothers are not provided with these vouchers due to current legislations. So, their children may go without this support, which helps so many of us mums. This must change.
Additionally, whilst these vouchers are accepted at high street grocery stores, they are not viable tender at market stalls and corner shops: the very places which sell the fruits and vegetables of our cultures. So BME mums have to make additional stops at markets and spend extra in providing these fruits and vegetables to their children”
At VCF, we would like to see adaptations made so that this oversight is rectified: migrant mothers provided with Healthy Start vouchers so their children receive support and that BME mothers can use these vouchers to purchase nutritious foods of cultural significance, thus eliminating the additional food bill expense.
On International Women’s Day 2021, let’s choose to challenge inequalities for mothers from across the world and acknowledge that every child matters…
Image: Angu Walters, Mother and Child Iii