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Nutrition and Quality of Children's Lives
September 23, 2002

ìA mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.î Oliver Wendell Holmes


At the 2001 World Forum on Early Care and Education in Athens, Greece, Joseph Hunt of the Asia Development Bank in Manilla, the Philippines gave a keynote presentation, "Improving Health and Nutrition of Under-Threes: Windows of Opportunity for Enriched Childhood." One of the points he made in this speech was about the importance of providing adequate nutrition for children in a broad social context. He sited these "Priorities for the Developing World:"

* Approach adequate nutrition as a human right for all citizens -- an issue of governance since the foundation of a productive life is at stake.

* Encourage local government and communities to develop partnerships and solve nutrition problems towards the collective good.

* Support the social, economic, and political rights of women though legal and regulatory reform, so that they are empowered to care for their children.

* Focus programs on poor mothers and children under three to avoid preventable death and disability, and minimize risks in later life.

* Develop programs for preschoolers that integrate child health, nutrition, psychosocial and cognitive development. The payoffs are healthier and better adjusted children, who grow into productive adults.

* Shift the role of government gradually from service provider to enabler and catalyst.

* Rally the public and private sectors to support the quality of affordable staples and complementary foods to raise the prospects of the poorest children.

The extensive power point summary of Joseph Hunt's presentation can be found in the World Forum section of www.ChildCareExchange.com.
It includes results of a wealth of international studies on health and nutrition.


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