Rice for breakfast, lunch and tea

It may be thanks to the Asian origins of many Malagasy that rice forms the key part of the diet in Madagascar. Some Malagasy claim they don’t sleep properly if they haven’t had rice in the day.

Getting all the food groups

Madagascar has one of the highest rates of stunting in the world because many children have a poor diet. It’s very important youngsters eat fruit, vegetables and protein such as meat, fish or beans as part of their diet. If meals rely too much on rice, children don’t have all the nutritional elements they need for healthy growth and development.

In some areas of Madagascar, rice will be eaten at every meal. It may be used to make breads or sweets, but mostly it’s served in bowls with an accompanying stew or soup.

Soups and stews may be made simply from vegetables such as cabbage or other boiled greens. More substantial stews will include meat, fish or beans.

At the SOS school in the video, the cook ladles out a large portion of rice from a huge bowl for each child. She’s also made a stew to go with it.

The cook at the school is perhaps the most important person. She helps make sure the children are eating the right food. This means they will be able to develop properly and concentrate on their lessons. No wonder she’s such a popular lady.