How was the food formula developed and what is so special about it?
After seeking advice from several sources to determine the nutritional requirements of malnourished and starving children worldwide, Kids Against Hunger brought together a team of food scientists from Cargill, General Mills, Archer Daniels Midland, and Pillsbury. This team of experts developed a specific food formula that meets the nutritional needs of children and that is far superior to the widespread rice and beans mix used by many feeding programs. The specific formula took nearly three years to develop.
The rice was chosen because it is so widely recognized worldwide. We use premium long-grain white rice. We chose white rice specifically because of its shelf life. The soy we use is fortified with ten vitamins in addition to the high protein content of the soy. The vegetables provide both color and flavor to the food. The vitamin formula is a proprietary formula and is the “secret sauce” that goes into our food. We provide 21 vitamins and minerals and each bag of our food contains six servings of the dehydrated food which when boiled will serve six children and provide all the vitamins and minerals they need for a day. It provides not just a meal – but better health to starving children. Additionally, our bags are specifically made to be three-ply for strength and they are made of a moisture-proof and odor-proof material to prevent spoilage and insect or rodent problems. Our food has a shelf life of at least three years.
The meal ingredients are formulated to provide a rich source of easily digestible protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins needed by an undernourished child’s body and mind. The food is also acceptable to the broad diversity of ethnic tastes and religious differences around the world. The food offers all 9 of the essential amino acids required for complete nutrition, something that can’t be said about other typical food relief sources such as rice or beans alone. It is also very simple to prepare, requiring only 6 cups of boiling water to make a complete meal.
What are the health benefits of Kids Against Hunger’s vitamin-mineral powder (one of the main components)?
- Good for: Eyesight, growth, appetite and taste
- Signs of deficiency: Night-blindness
- Good for: Preventing skin conditions, nerve problems, helps the body absorb protein and carbohydrate
- Signs of deficiency: Skin inflammation
- Good for: Making red blood and the formation of the nerves
- Signs of deficiency: Tiredness, breathing difficulties, dizziness, abnormalities in nerve tissue function
- Good for: Immune defense system, protection from viruses and bacteria, healing wounds, reducing cholesterol, cell lifespan, preventing scurvy
- Signs of deficiency: Tiredness, bleeding gums, slow-healing wounds
- Good for: Strong bones and teeth
- Signs of deficiency: Unhealthy teeth, osteomalacia (causes weakening of bones), rickets in children.
- Good for: Fighting toxins – vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant
- Signs of deficiency: Weak muscles and fertility problems
- Good for: Production of red blood cells. It is essential in the first three months of pregnancy to prevent birth defects such as spina bifida, cleft palate or cleft lip.
- Signs of deficiency: Tiredness due to anaemia, red tongue
- Good for: Strong bones and teeth, nerve function, muscle contraction, blood clotting
- Signs of deficiency: Poor teeth and brittle bones
- Good for: Red blood cells and muscle function, white blood cells and the immune system
- Signs of deficiency: Tiredness, irritability, difficulties concentrating
- Good for: Converting energy from food, cell repair, building strong bones, teeth and muscles, regulating body temperature
- Signs of deficiency: Muscle spasms, and has been associated with heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and weak bones
- Good for: Immune system, the breakdown of protein, fat and carbohydrate
- Signs of deficiency: Lesions on skin, eyes and in throat, loss of taste and smell, hair loss, diarrhea, slow healing of wounds, growth problems in children
(Source: NetDoctor, http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/health_advice/facts/vitamins_which.htm)
Here is a wonderful example of the how the highly nutritious Kids Against Hunger food can make a difference in a child’s life and give them a second chance.