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Dear Ngozi,
It's indeed true that early period in life is critical for cognitive, mental, and physical development. Adequate nutrition during this period ensures proper development and plays a significant role in lifelong health outcomes. Inadequate nutrition during pregnancy and the first two years of life can irreversibly limit the ability of a child to achieve his or her full potential. These adverse outcomes, which can begin before birth, may include delayed mental development, reduced mental capacity, reduced school performance and working capacity, and overall increased susceptibility to infections and diseases. An undernourished child has an increased risk of dying from diarrhoea, measles, malaria and pneumonia. The first 1000 days of life from conception through the first two years of life is often called the “window of opportunity” because of the profound positive effect optimal nutrition can have on the developing child and due to the fact that damage sustained during this period is often permanent.

The aim of nutrition education, therefore, should be to reinforce specific nutrition-related practices or behaviours to change habits that contribute to poor health; this is done by creating a motivation for change among people, to establish desirable food and nutrition behaviour for promotion and protection of good health. People are given help to learn new information about nutrition and to develop the attitudes, skills and confidence that they need to improve their nutrition practices.

The nutrition awareness provides people with correct information on the nutritional value of foods, food quality and safety, methods of preservation, processing and handling, food preparation and eating to help them make the best choice of foods for an adequate diet. The provision of correct information is not in itself a sufficient objective to improve nutrition. Successful nutrition education goes beyond the simple accumulation of knowledge, towards positive action. A change in behaviour leading to desirable nutrition practices could include, for example, beginning to grow and eat dark-green, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables to protect the body from infectious diseases or learning how to store millet or other food more safely to reduce nutrient losses and thereby increase household food reserves. Effective nutrition education programmes must, therefore, be planned and executed in such a way as to motivate beneficiaries to develop skills and confidence for the adoption of positive behaviour and lasting practices.
The nutrition education programmes may not work in situations of severe resource constraints. For example, advising stakeholders on the establishment of home gardens in drought-prone areas is inappropriate if facilities for irrigation do not exist. Similarly, it is inappropriate to teach a mother to give her child high-energy foods to which she has no access, specifically processed food. The innovation is workable and unique especially in Africa when proper measures are laid down during the implementation.
What you need to do:
-Talk to your target group/recipients and encourage open dialogue.
-Raise Awareness and encourage positivity
-Talk to teachers, social workers, midwives and community health workers
-Build a network with all stakeholders

Congratulations to all the winners, Keep it up!


Charles commented on Scaling Up Deaf Education For Prosperity

Dear Paul,
Thanks for your insightful recommendation, I liked the locally made available materials, especially during the emergency case. Stay put and once our project sails through we'll get back to you and share more practically. Thanks once again for your compliment and stay put.