The Fono

Health & Social Services

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Healthy Food key to Healthy Babies

As Practice Manager for The Fono Health & Social Services, Aivi Puloka knows the Healthy Babies Health Futures programmes are now getting the messages through for Tongan mothers.

“It’s working because our mothers are getting hands on experience in areas such as cooking healthy food that’s good for them, their babies and their families,” she says.

“The series of six workshops we run with each group have different themes each week and are very intensive.”

Aivi says one of the biggest perceptions the workshops have helped overcome is the belief that healthy foods are too expensive.

“A lot of the mothers admitted they would not bother thinking about fresh fruit and vegetables and fish because they think it’s too expensive,” she says.
Tongan Mum Epoki Fo'ou Goundar

“Our people go for fast foods because it’s seen as cheap and convenient. But it’s not expensive to buy healthy food and it’s not difficult to cook healthy meals, as our mothers are discovering.”

She adds it’s important for mothers and their baby’s own health to start adopting good eating habits at a young age.

“If the mother gains a lot of weight during pregnancy there’s more chance of the baby and themselves being at risk. Mothers often don’t understand how much power they have.”

More information

Healthy Babies Healthy Futures