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Families strive to eat healthy as global food gap widens

By Grace Wekesa | October 12th 2013

As the world marks the global World Food Day next Wednesday (October 16), The Standard on Saturday team takes a look at what families across the country are eating and one nutritionist’s perspective on what it means for the nation’s health.

The Ogonyas

Mr Aloyce Ogonya and his wife Ruth live in Mathare, Nairobi County with their three children — Jeff, Teddy and Noela — aged between 12 and one and a half-years-old.

The family spends between Sh800 and Sh1,500 on food each week.

It often has two meals a day, with tea, bread, mandazi or chapati served for breakfast. Ugali, kales, dagaa (omena) and a variety of vegetables are the staples at dinner time.

Rice and potatoes are served at least once a week, while chicken, beef and grains like beans and green grams are eaten occasionally.

The Lovis

This household of nine living in Nairobi spends about Sh7,000 per week on food. Rice, chicken, fish, arrowroots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, spinach, kales, green grams, potatoes, chapati, cowpeas, green bananas, and beans form part of the family’s menu.

Fruits are served twice a day.

The family also takes green tea for breakfast accompanied by meals like matoke and cabbage or arrowroots and stew. The Lovi’s eat beef at least twice a week and have a kitchen garden that provides a steady supply of kales and spinach.

Nakhosi’s home

Hellen Nakhosi, 28, mother of eight, says the family survives on two meals per day. This, however, is dependent on how much the husband earns.

On better days, the family, which lives in Kakamega County, has a breakfast cum lunch of porridge and sweet potatoes.Ugali and vegetables are the staples for supper, but there are days when the family has to make do with a cup of tea.

Harvest seasons provide a variation to the diet when the family enjoys a meal of githeri (mixture of maize and beans) or boiled maize.  On average, the family spends Sh100 on food daily.

The Nandwas

Samuel Nandwa, 32, a casual labourer from Lurambi, Kakamega County and father of four says the family survives on a diet of porridge taken mid-morning to serve as both breakfast and lunch.

The family spends Sh200 per day on food but there are days when Nandwa can only afford Sh80 for a 2kg bag of maize flour. Supper often consists of ugali made from maize meal flour and vegetables.

The Omamos

Rynom Omamo is a father of six and a farmer in Butere, Kakamega County. His family spends Sh1,000 a day on three meals.

Tea with mandazi, sweet potatoes, yams or cassava form breakfast. For lunch the family often eats githeri, rice, roast potatoes or bananas. Ugali, accompanied with vegetables, eggs or meat are served for supper on most occasions. The family grows vegetables on their four-acre farm and rears chicken to supplement their diet.

The Wambus

Monica, 37, is a casual labourer and a mother of five children aged between four and 15 years. She lives in Nyeri. Wambui earns Sh150 a day. Her family often has one meal a day, mostly githeri or ugali served with vegetables.

The Mwangis

Mr Kuria Mwangi, a businessman in Nyeri County, lives with his wife, two children and a sibling.

The family takes tea and bread for breakfast, with eggs served occasionally. There are times when cereals and porridge are served instead.

Common items on the family’s menu are ugali, rice, chapati, mukimo and matoke served with beef stew and vegetables, juice and soda. On weekends, the family goes out for lunch and eats chips, chicken and other available snacks.

The family spends about Sh2,500 per week on food.

The Ogetos

Mr Boniface Ogeto, a father of two and employee at Egerton University Sacco in Nakuru County says his family has three meals a day.

Breakfast consists of tea, bread and eggs, while rice, ugali, chapatti, green grams and vegetables are served for lunch and dinner. In between the main meals, snacks like juice and tea that are also served.

The family also practices agro-business and grows beans, carrots, maize and vegetables as well as rears livestock and chicken to supplement their diet.

The Lukuyes

Mr Charles Lukuye, a newspaper vendor in Nakuru County, lives with his wife and four children.

The family has two meals a day and spends about Sh300 daily on food. Meals mostly served in the home include black tea for breakfast, potatoes, githeri, ugali, vegetables and occasionally, meat for dinner.

The Melis

Mr Ben Meli, is a banker in Uasin Gishu County. Rice, beef, githeri and milk are common items on the household of three’s menu. The family spends about Sh3,500 per week on food.

The Michaels

Rushani Michael, an insurance agent lives in Machakos County. Rice, chapatti and ugali are common items on the household of five’s menu.

The family spends about Sh5,600 per week on food.

The Sorobits

Mr Stephen Sorobit is a large-scale farmer in the North Rift and a contractor at the Kenya Power company.

His family of six has three meals a day, with ugali, beef, rice, spaghetti, cakes, sausages, bread, milk and fruit commonly featuring on the menu. The family prefers to eat roasted chicken and French fries when eating out and spends about Sh5,000 on the monthly outing.

On average the family spends Sh6,000 per week on food.

The Ahmeds

Mohammed Ahmed, a civil servant, lives in Isiolo County with his household of five. The family spends between Sh2,500-3,700 per week on food. Tea, bread, eggs, cereal and fruit are often served for breakfast, while spaghetti, rice, ugali and vegetables are the staples at dinner. Beef is served on a few occasions.

The Mianos

Halima Miano, a mother of four also takes care of her sister’s child. The family, which lives in Machakos town’s Swahili village commonly known as Mjini, has been forced to cut down on beef, fish and chicken because of high food prices.

Breakfast usually consists of black tea taken with leftovers of ugali or chapatti from the previous night’s dinner. The family spends about Sh600 per day on food.

The Omars

Mr Hassan Omar, 40, is a housing agent in Mombasa County.

He is married and has two children. The family’s weekly food budget stands at Sh1,000 with items like rice, fish, chicken, beef, potatoes and ugali featuring on the menu.

The Chumbas

Mr Nicholas Chumba, a small-scale farmer, spends about Sh150 per week to buy essential food items like sugar, salt and cooking fat.

This family of six often has milk, ugali and kales served over breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The Ngumbaos

Mr Kumbi Ngumbao, 20, is a tuk tuk operator in Kilifi County and a father of four.

Ngumbao spends about Sh250 each day on food, with ugali and vegetables as the main food items on the family menu.

Reports by Lillian Aluanga-Delvaux, Grace Wekesa, Eric Wainaina, Mercy Kahenda, Ali Abdi, Daniel Nzia, Silah Koskei and Ngumbao Kithi.


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