For those who are on Twitter, it is no secret that Tito Mboweni loves to cook and eat pilchards, I’m not sure about his recipes, but he seems to enjoy them. Anyway, seeing pilchards on Tito Mboweni’s tweets always reminds me of a very powerful story about pilchards that a friend, let’s call her Mpho, once told me.

Mpho used to work as a cleaner and had built a wonderful friendship with a manager whose office she used to clean. They fell pregnant at the same time and the of two of them decided they would remind each other to take their pregnancy supplements every morning at work. Mpho got her supplements for free from her local government clinic, while her friend bought hers every month from her local pharmacy. Mpho noticed some differences between her supplements and her friend’s, for one, Mpho didn’t have the clear capsules that are filled with a golden liquid inside. She asked her friend about the capsules and the friend told her they were called omega-3 capsules and that they are a super brain supplement that was helping her baby’s brain develop well in the womb. She also told Mpho they are also chewable omega-3 tablets that she buys for her 2-year-old daughter, and she believed that’s why her daughter was so clever. Mpho wanted to also start buying them, but when she heard about the price, she was sad because it was too expensive for her already stretched budget.

Mpho went home and she couldn’t stop thinking about that golden liquid that was as expensive as her treasured gold earrings. She did the sums but there was no way she would be able to afford them, the chewable ones cost over half of her son’s child support grant, money that she would rather use to buy food for the family. She cried herself to sleep that night. She really wanted to give her children the best start in life, but was so sad that she couldn’t afford things that can help their bodies and brains grow well.

Luckily for Mpho, she happened to be attending a flourish class, a structured antenatal class which is offered by a trained and licenced flourish host. At the class she asked the flourish host about the omega-3 capsules and where she could get them for cheap. She was so surprised when the flourish host told her that the golden liquid is actually oils derived from fish such as pilchards and that in fact, tinned pilchards or sardines contain a lot of omega-3 just like the capsules. She was so excited to realise that she didn’t need to buy those expensive capsules, she just needed to cook tinned fish often enough for herself and her children.

She was so excited with her discovery that she told all the moms she knows, including me, that pilchards are a golden food for the brain. We had a good laugh when she spiced her story and said that maybe Tito Mboweni’s mother fed him a lot of pilchards when he was young and that’s why he was clever enough get the South African Reserve Bank, Governor job. So, every time I see Tito Mboweni’s signature on my money, I remember this story and I smile. Anyway, tinned fish does not only have omega-3 lipids but is a great source of protein and many other nutrients that are good for both children and adults. If you want to find more about the benefits of pilchards and other foods that can help your child’s body and brain to grow great, visit the ten best buys WhatsApp line on 060 073 33 33. You can also find more appetising recipes than those of Tito Mboweni  😊