Topic: Nutrition

Reflections on the UN Global Action Plan (GAP) on Child Wasting: How can the GAP on Child Wasting address gaps in continuity of care?

The release of Field Exchange 60 coincided with UN Agencies global initiative to determine how they could provide a more unified response to care for wasted children. In March 2020, five UN agencies (UNICEF, WFP, WHO, UNHCR, FAO) published the Global Action Plan (GAP) on Child Wasting: A Framework for Action (see box 2). In May 2020, the Field Exchange Team reviewed the Field Exchange 60 priority actions relative to the GAP Framework. This brief outlines findings to help inform next steps in the development and finalisation of the GAP on Child Wasting.

Combating Severe Malnutrition in the First 1,000 Days

This infographic shows specific nutrition interventions that span the course of the critical 1,000-day period between a woman’s pregnancy and a child’s second birthday when there is a unique window of opportunity to build healthier and more prosperous futures for mothers and their babies.

Webinar: Protecting, Promoting and Supporting Breastfeeding amid COVID-19

Dr. Larry Grummer-Strawn, Technical Officer Dept. of Nutrition and Food Safety at the World Health Organization (WHO), presents to the International Coalition for Advocacy on Nutrition (ICAN) regarding the official guidance, challenges, and concerns with promoting, protecting, and supporting breastfeeding in the time of COVID-19. The WHO continues to recommend mothers with suspected COVID symptoms who choose to breastfeed can as long as they practice proper respiratory and hand hygiene. Read more here.

Nourishing Gender Equality: How Nutrition Interventions are an Underleveraged Tool in the Fight for Women’s Rights

The nutrition and women’s empowerment sectors are mutually reinforcing, and it is time to link them more intentionally. Nutrition interventions are critical to making concrete, cost-effective, and long-lasting improvements to the status of women and girls around the world.

There are three specific areas where a more intentional focus on nutrition offers advantages for women and girls in their fight for gender equality:

  • From even before a girl is born, good nutrition is a crucial component in supporting her lifelong right to Health and Survival, allowing women to live longer, better lives.
  • By boosting individual workforce participation and earning potential, good nutrition has a proven positive impact on women’s full and equal Economic Participation and Opportunity.
  • Access to good nutrition allows girls’ brains to develop fully and impacts how well women and girls can perform in school. It also secures their right to equal Educational Attainment with men and boys.

Global Breastfeeding Collective – Breastfeeding and Prevention of Overweight Children

Breastfeeding is one of the smartest investments a country can make to build its future prosperity. It offers children unparalleled health and brain-building benefits. It has the power to save the lives of women and children throughout the world, and the power to help national economies grow through lower health care costs and smarter workforces. Yet many societies are failing to adequately support women to breastfeed, and as a result, the majority of the world’s children – along with a majority of the world’s countries – are not able to reap the full benefits of breastfeeding.

WIC Matters During the First 1,000 Days

The 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s 2nd birthday offers a unique window of opportunity to build healthier and more prosperous futures. This is when a child’s brain begins to grow and develop and the foundations for their lifelong health are built. Good nutrition plays a critical role in supporting the health and well-being of women and children during the first 1,000 days and beyond.

Evidence-based, proven programs that reach low-income families with healthy foods and nutrition education are a critical investment in the health and well-being of moms and babies. One such program is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).

Toddler Formula: What Do I Need To Know?

There’s a new product on the shelves that looks a lot like infant formula, but it’s for toddlers. Sometimes they are called “toddler formulas” or “toddler milks.” Confusing, right? Well, here’s what you need to know:

  • They are not needed for nutrition. While toddler formulas have some vitamins, they can have added sugars, which young kids definitely do not need.
  • They are not needed for development. These product claim to be good for “picky eaters,” but if kids are filling up on toddler formulas then they won’t learn how to eat well-balanced meals.
  • They are expensive. Up to 4 times more expensive than cow’s milk- yikes!

What’s a healthier alternative? A balanced diet made up of healthy drinks and a variety of healthy foods. And for “picky eaters” just remember, it can take more than 20 tries for a kid to like a new food. Try, try again!


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Healthy drinks as kids grow

As kids grow, they need different drinks in different amounts to help keep them healthy. Here’s what you need to know:

  • 0-6 months: Babies need only breast milk or infant formula.
  • 6-12 months: In addition to breast milk or infant formula, offer a small amount of drinking water once solid foods are introduced to help babies get familiar with the taste – just a few sips at meal times is all it takes. It’s best for children under 1 not to drink juice. Even 100% fruit juice offers no nutritional benefits over whole fruit.
  • 12-24 months: It’s time to add whole milk, which has many essential nutrients, along with plain drinking water for hydration. A small amount of juice is ok, but make sure it’s 100% fruit juice to avoid added sugar. Better yet, serve small pieces of real fruit, which is even healthier.
  • 2-5 years: Milk and water are the go-to beverages. Look for milks with less fat than whole milk, like skim (non-fat) or low-fat (1%). If you choose to serve 100% fruit juice, stick to a small amount, and remember adding water can make a little go a long way!

Teaching kids to love healthy drinks now will have a lasting impact! Cheers!

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