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Tebow CURE Celebrates Nutrition Month by Providing Nutrition Education


Tebow CURE Nutritionist Mary Grace (left) and Plastic Surgeon Dino (right) gave certificates of completion and a bag filled with nutritious treats to the caretakers who attended the seminar.


Nutrition Month is celebrated every July in the Philippines. The aim is to raise awareness of the importance of proper nutrition for the overall health and well-being of Filipinos—especially for children.

During a streamed DOH Media forum, top undersecretary of the Department of Health (DOH), Maria Rosario Vergeire, reported alarming statistics. She stated that 12.3 percent of children aged zero to 23 months are underweight.

Among the most vulnerable are infants born with cleft lip and cleft palate. This birth defect results in a gap in the upper lip, the roof of the mouth (palate), or both. Due to the structural abnormalities of their mouths, children with clefts face unique challenges in breastfeeding and feeding, which result in inadequate nutrient intake and hinder their growth and development.

A study conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation and Smile Train in 2022 revealed that nearly 200,000 children with clefts were malnourished, with most of them residing in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This emphasizes the urgent need for targeted interventions to combat malnutrition among this vulnerable population.

At Tebow CURE, we are committed to provide comprehensive cleft care, which entails supporting parents from the start to the finish of their child’s healing journey. This commitment drives us to collaborate with organizations like Smile Train, ensuring that parents are equipped with the necessary skills, insights, and information to effectively care for their children throughout the entire journey— from pre-treatment to post-treatment. To address the pressing national concern about nutrition, Tebow CURE Children’s Hospital (Tebow CURE) conducted a seminar on August 28, 2023, through a grant funded by Smile Train Philippines.

The event served as a wrap-up for Cleft Awareness Month and the celebration of the 49th Nutrition Month. Parents from various areas in Davao del Sur whose children had cleft conditions and nutrition concerns were invited to participate.

Nutritionist/Dietician Aprilyn Orquita was a featured speaker at the seminar, where she shared valuable insights on proper diet and nutrition. The theme for the 49th Nutrition Month, “Healthy Diet Gawing Affordable for All” (Healthy Diet, Let’s Make It Affordable for All), was discussed, focusing on healthy diet recommendations, challenges in affordability, and practical tips for caretakers on providing affordable diets for their children.

Nutrition education is a powerful tool in combating malnutrition among children with cleft conditions in the Philippines. Through initiatives like the nutrition seminar at Tebow CURE and support from organizations like Smile Train, caretakers are empowered to provide proper nutrition and care for these vulnerable children.

Jenelyn, a mother whose son is underweight and awaiting surgery at Tebow CURE, participated in the seminar. She said, “I am glad I have been invited to this seminar so I know what proper food to give my baby. It is essential for my child to have a proper diet so he can finally gain weight and undergo surgery.” Jenelyn’s 18-month-old son has cleft lip and palate and currently weighs 7.9 kilograms, indicating severe malnutrition.


Jenelyn, a mother of an 18-month-old with cleft and palate, attended the seminar on nutrition and learned helpful tips on how to prepare affordable and nutritious meals for her son.


Jenelyn’s son’s weight is closely monitored to meet the minimum requirement for safer surgical outcomes. “Children with cleft conditions experience a lot of feeding difficulties, which hinders them from fulfilling their nutritional needs,” explained Tebow CURE Nutritionist/Dietician Mary Grace Pangilinan. “Here at Tebow CURE, our chefs are trained to prepare safe and nutritious meals. We also conduct nutrition consultations and education to the parents and guardians of our patients. We provide high-quality nutrition care because we believe every child deserves to grow strong and healthy.”


A total of 15 caretakers from all over Davao del Sur participated in the seminar on nutrition.



Learn more about how we treat cleft lip and cleft palate at CURE.

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Tebow CURE’s mission is to provide every child living with a disability the physical, emotional, and spiritual care they need to heal. If you have questions about becoming a patient or a partner with CURE, please contact us.

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