The Fono

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Healthy Eating now a Family Affair

Epoki Fo’ou Gounder admits she was a “junk food” junkie who never gave much thought to what she ate. When she gave birth to Zephaniah she knew that had to change.

“I lived on snacks and chocolate bars and never really watched or cared about what I ate,” recalls Epoki, whose family is from Ha’apai in Tonga.

Bringing a child into the world and finding out about the Healthy Babies Healthy Futures Pacific Programme coordinated by The Fono, where she is a patient, made her realise how much she should care.

Epoki started by gradually substituting soft drinks for water.

“I never liked water, but I started drinking it because the body needs it and I found out how much sugar is in soft drinks.”

Then came her appreciation for vegetables. Epoki admits she only thought of vegetables in their raw form and “would never go near them”. But learning how to prepare and cook them while retaining their nutrition and goodness at the classes has changed her eating habits for good.

“When I ate things like chocolate bars, I’d get an energy buzz, but that wouldn’t last long. It’s different when I eat fruit and I don’t get so hungry,” she says.

“I’m even teaching my parents how to eat better. I wouldn’t have even tried to do that if I hadn’t been part of these classes.”

More information

Healthy Babies Healthy Futures