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Nutrition and Quality of Children's Lives
ìA mind that is stretched
by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.î Oliver Wendell
NUTRITION AND QUALITY OF CHILDREN'S LIVES
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
* 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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