THE JCTR BASIC NEEDS AND NUTRITION BASKET
A Simplified Guide to the JCTR Basic Needs and Nutrition Basket
The guide can be used to promote healthy diets and improve knowledge on basic nutrition in Zambia.
The Basic Needs and Nutrition Basket (BNNB) tracks the costs of food and non-food items in order to assess the cost of living for the average family size of five members as estimated by the Zambia Statistics Agency (ZamStats).
On a monthly basis, prices of selected food and non-food items are collected, analysed and disseminated to the public. Information generated from the BNNB has been used in various ways. These include; exposing the plight of the poor, monitoring effectiveness of government policies, wage negotiations, budgeting at individual and household level, promoting diet diversity at individual, household and national level.
Individuals are able to utilise the BNNB as a listed description of nutritious food items that they can tailor in coming up with meal plans.
The food items constituted in the basket promote the need for families to consume nutritious food items that are beneficial and cardinal for one to live a good and healthy life.
Healthy and nutritious diets are based on various key principles, including the consumption of a variety of whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables. It is also important to realise that there is no blueprint for a nutritious diet. An appropriate diet depends on the culture and food habits of a particular population. Affordability, accessibility and availability of foods also play a role in determining the diet.