ChildFund Promotes Child Nutrition

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Child Nutrition

Ensuring a Healthy Start for Children

This malnourished baby is getting health care and food through ChildFund. (Jake Lyell Photography)

We all share in the burden of knowledge that inadequate nutrition for children under the age of 2 creates deficiencies that can never be overcome.

— Anne Lynam Goddard,
ChildFund President and CEO

One Thousand Days to Act

A child's ability to reach his or her full potential depends on a healthy start in life. To ensure infants and young children have that chance, ChildFund works to improve maternal and child health and nutrition.

We fully support the Scaling Up Nutrition roadmap that is guiding the international aid community's efforts to combat undernutrition in the 1,000-day window that starts with a mother's pregnancy and continues until a child is 2 years old.

At ChildFund, we continue to emphasize growth promotion until the child is 3 years old. Scientific evidence demonstrates that children who grow well during these early years have higher academic achievement, are better adapted socially and earn higher incomes as adults. When children have a healthy start in life, they have a greater opportunity to break the bonds of poverty.

Root Causes of Undernutrition

Undernutrition is more common when household income is low. Families enter into a cycle of chronic food shortage, and may eat monotonous, poor-quality diets. These households experience high rates of infectious disease and often lack knowledge to provide appropriate infant care and feeding.

Brazil boy enjoys his meal at an ECD center in Belo Horizonte.

Nutrition Goals

In 2001, the U.N. General Assembly endorsed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), an eight-point list of targeted steps toward measurably reversing extreme poverty by 2015.

Nutrition plays a direct role in three of the goals:

No.1  Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
No.4  Reduce child mortality.
No.5  Improve maternal health.

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