Putting crucial nutritional information in the hands of those that need it!
By providing information on nutrition to support early development on food packaging, parents in developing areas will be given information crucial to support their child's development, without them having to do anything!
One of the major themes through lots of the research and ideas of this challenge have been regarding information. Families and communities are in a stronger position to support the cognitive, language, social and physical development of young children through nutrition, hygiene, learning and play if they are given the information on how to do so. This information can be delivered to parents in many forms from formal and informal training to internet and information services applications, but most of these solutions require active involvement on the part of the families or communities, to go out of their way and out of their routine to learn this new information. While this can be incredibly effective, this idea focusses on providing crucial information to parents to support early development in their children while minimising the disruption to the parents lives and routine.
In many places in the world food packaging already contains a variety of nutritional information and metrics. However, in many developing areas this is still not the case, and even when it is done, this information can be confusing and inaccessible. By working with food manufacturers and retailers to redesign packaging used for food and health products, specifically those popular amongst families with young children, we can work to provide families with crucial nutrition information for early development. This information can in some places be very specific to the product in question; how much should be given to young children in a given period of time, when during the day, in what form etc. Or it could be more general, principles about what food groups are most important and in what amounts. Ideally, redesigned packaging would include both of these, giving parents a clear idea of the overall nutritional needs of their children, and where this specific product fits into that picture. If possible, packaging could even include information about hygiene, early cognitive development etc.
By working with food and health product manufactures and retailers in this way, we are able to ensure that parents are given accurate nutritional information about the product in question, and how this best supports their child's early development. It also has the major advantage that it does not require any underlying technical infrastructure or training for parents to become informed. They aren't required to do anything differently from what they already do, nor are they required to take time out of their day, the information is already in their hands!
Who will benefit from this idea and where are they located?
Young children and parents will benefit from this programme, especially in areas where nutritional information is not enforced legally, and where parents aren't given an understanding of nutrition best to support early development
Is this an idea that you or your organization would like to take forward?
Yes. I am looking for partners that might be interested in taking this idea forward in their communities.