Adequate nutrition

The mother’s nutrition during pregnancy affects her health and well-being, as well as the developing child’s nutrition and growth. When pregnant women do not have enough micronutrients, they need supplements, including iron.

Young children flourish on exclusive breastfeeding – from immediately after birth to the age of 6 months – together with skin-to-skin body contact. From the age of 6 months, young children need complementary foods that are frequent and diverse enough, and which contain the micronutrients they need for the rapid growth of their body and brain.

This is in addition to breast milk, and needs to be offered in a way that accommodates the social and emotional interaction involved in feeding a young child. And when children’s daily diet fails to support healthy growth, they need micronutrient supplements or treatment for malnutrition (including obesity). Food safety and family food security are essential for adequate nutrition.