When I visited Ethiopia last December I, of course, saw throngs and throngs of beautiful children in every village we visited. On the surface, all of the sweet children looked like strong, growing kids, but I did wonder more times than not if they were getting all of the nutrition they needed. According to the World Bank 44% of Ethiopian children are malnourished and stunted so odds are that at least some of the children I saw and hugged and waved at weren’t getting the required nutrition they need for their growing bodies.
This number feels terribly unfathomable, but every year 2.6 million children die from malnutrition. Those deaths, mind you, are wholly preventable in most cases. In fact, optimal nutrition for children starts when a child is in the womb and receives the right amount of nutrition from her mother. That means in the cycle to end malnutrition expectant mothers are pivotal in the chain of child survival.
Nutrition at its most important is key to a child’s survival. Once a child lives past the critical 1000 days proper nutrition ensures they have the cognitive ability to excel in school and grow into healthy productive citizens.
What Can You Do to Help?
Future Fortified highlights several solutions to aid better nutrition for children around the world starting with breastfeeding. Recent research from Save the Children says breastfeeding within a baby’s first hour will save 830,000 infants a year. Breastfeeding is a critical factor in saving lives.
Future Fortified also features their nutritional packets that mothers can sprinkle on their children’s food, increased agriculture, as well as fortified foods for children.
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Photo Credit: Jennifer James