Some children often complain about the school menu and even dodge meals because many schools in Uganda serve posho and beans to students at both primary and secondary level.
In some schools there are times when this food is changed but if it does not happen in your school, this diet is still fine for children’s growth and development according to Lilian Nyanzi, a nutritionist at Neulife Medical Centre, Bweyogerere.
Beans are one of the healthiest legumes in the world because they contain a number of nutrients that are needed by the body.
“The most important is that beans contain proteins which are body building foods. These will help you gain the right weight for your age and height. Proteins are also good for brain development and will enhance your good performance in class,” Nyanzi says.
Also, proteins build resistance against diseases. The more proteins in the beans you consume, the greater your immunity becomes allowing your body to fight disease.
Nyanzi adds that, “These legumes also contain a lot of iron, a mineral responsible for blood formation. You will not suffer from anaemia (lack of enough blood in the body) if you eat beans regularly. Eating beans regularly (about four times a week) can improve heart health and regulate the amount of blood sugar.”
Posho (maize that is processed into flour) is a good carbohydrate for good health. All cereals are classified as carbohydrates and these give the body energy. By eating posho, you are getting the same nutrients like those you would get from rice and bread.
She says, “The body uses this class of foods to make glucose, which is its main energy source. Posho is also a body building and brain developing food. Children who do not eat enough carbohydrates lose weight and are usually weak when it comes to exercise and other school activities. Carbohydrates are also a good source of many vitamins and minerals.”
“Although the posho is fortified with other vitamins, the beans should also be fried to add taste to the food. This menu can also be backed up by adding a fruit such as a banana or vegetables like cabbage or spinach to increase the children’s intake of vitamins and minerals,” Nyanzi remarks.