The custom of food gifting to pregnant mothers as an intervention to improve the nutrition of children less than two years of age.
This project utilizing the existing custom of gifting foods to pregnant mothers as a strategy to improve nutrition in children and pregnant and pre-pregnant women in Sri Lanka, we were able to reduce the rate of underweight children in the project area by 30-40% and improved the birth weight of 90% children. The intervention strategy used in the project was an accepted social custom in the communities. This custom is practiced by all ethnic groups, which is based on the idea of self-help and sharing, a valued tenet in communities.
The intervention strategy utilized in this project is innovative, and gives the responsibility of feeding and caring for pregnant woman and children to the community. The community decided, based on nutrition knowledge imparted by the project, what meals to be gifted to the women and children, when and how.