Nutrition for Under 2s

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Helpdesk Query:

The top ten to twenty articles/pieces of evidence on:

  • Determinants of good caring practices for children under 2’s to improve nutrition (increased weight or reduced stunting) (determinants to include maternal health, mental health, family dynamics, etc.)
  • Behaviour change and how to improve family infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices for under 2’s (early and exclusive breastfeeding, complimentary feeding, hygiene)

Nutrition and nurturing during the first years of life are both crucial for life-long health and well-being. Malnutrition is responsible, directly or indirectly for about one third of deaths among children under five. Well above two thirds of these deaths, often associated with inappropriate feeding practices, occur during the first year of life. Breastfeeding is very important yet barely one in three infants is exclusively breastfed during the first six months of life.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that infants start breastfeeding within one hour of life, are exclusively breastfed for six months, with timely initiation of adequate, safe and properly fed complementary foods while continuing breastfeeding for up to two years of age or beyond.

The WHO Global Strategy calls for action in five main areas, including the following: All governments should develop and implement a comprehensive policy on infant and young child feeding, in the context of national policies for nutrition, child and reproductive health, and poverty reduction.   Other findings from the research demonstrate the importance of individual and household level predictors such as age, the size of child at birth, prolonged breastfeeding, recent diarrhoea episodes, and maternal education as predictors of low weight-for-age z-scores across regions.

This report also provides literature on the following areas:

  1. Determinants of Nutritional Status
  2. The Role of Caring Practices
  3. Feeding Practices and Behaviour Change
  4. Complementary Feeding
  5. Exclusive Breastfeeding
  6. Infant Feeding and HIV
  7. Infant Feeding in Emergency Situations
  8. Child Survival


PDF - 224 KB

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