On June 17th and 18th world leaders, including President Obama, will convene in Northern Ireland for the G8 Summit. Based on a newly released report by Save The Children, titled Food For Thought, Global nutrition should be high on the agenda. We have known for a long time that good nutrition is important for kids. What the Food For Thought Report highlights is that it is not just important, it is critical. Good nutrition, it turns out, especially in the first 1,000 days of life when the body and brain is growing rapidly, is more crucial to proper development than we realized.
“A quarter of the world’s children are suffering the effects of chronic malnutrition. Poor nutrition in the early years is driving a literacy and numeracy crisis in developing countries and is also a huge barrier to further progress in tackling child deaths,” said Carolyn Miles, Save the Children CEO and President.
Save the Children’s report also highlights the huge economic cost of chronic malnutrition. Chronic Malnutrition causes stunting of cognitive development that results in the inability to reach full adult potential. That means a quarter of the worlds adults will not be able to fully contribute to their communities in the way they would had they received proper nutrition as a child. Spending on nutrition programs is one of the most cost effective forms of development assistance, yet currently amounts to just 0.3 per cent of global development spending. Any investment now, the report says, would be a down payment on future prosperity.
“Improving the nutritional status of children and women in the crucial 1,000-day window – from the start of a woman’s pregnancy until her child’s second birthday – could greatly increase a children’s ability to learn and to earn,” said Miles. “World leaders gathering in London on June 8th must commit to concrete actions to tackle malnutrition in those critical 1,000 days, and invest in the future of our children.”
Of course the need for good nutrition does not end there. As a parent I know it is a life long commitment to ensure that my kids eat healthfully. I also know how challenging it can be to make sure to fit in all of the nutrients kids need in their daily meals. That’s why I love easy finger food vegetables for my kids like sliced cucumbers, carrot sticks or Iceberg lettuce wedges.
My favorite easy Gr8 recipe that all my kids love is Edamame:
Steam fresh or frozen Edamame in the pods.
Toss the cooked pods with a bit of kosher salt.
Let the kids pop out the beans and enjoy!
Check out more Gr8 recipes for healthful eating options on twitter #Gr8Recipes .
You can help let President Obama know that nutrition is an important item on the agenda by tweeting @whitehouse with your messages using the hashtags #next1000days and #Nutrition4Growth . A sample tweet may read something like this:
- @whitehouse let’s make sure all kids get healthy food in their #next1000days so they can reach their full potential. #Nutrition4Growth
Save the Children is the leading, independent organization that creates lasting change for children in need in the United States and around the world. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
I wrote this post as part of The Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health.
Our Motto: Individually we are all-powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this world a better place for our children and the world’s children.