Every parent, throughout the world, wishes their child a healthy, happy and fulfilling life. The key to achieving this lies in providing optimal nutrition during the First 1000 Days — from pregnancy to the end of the 2nd year of life.
This short timeframe offers a unique window of opportunity to shape healthier futures by having a profound impact on the child’s ability to grow and develop and improve educational achievement and earning potential. It can therefore help to develop a society’s long term stability and prosperity by providing lifelong health and well-being. It also helps reduce the risk of developing various chronic diseases in later life which have considerable economic costs.
Scientists, economists and health experts agree that improving nutrition during the critical 1000 day window is one of the best investments we can make to achieve a healthier population. International studies consistently show a positive link between what a mother eats during pregnancy, and what her infant is fed during the sensitive early years, with both short and long term health outcomes.
Solutions to improve the nutritional status in this unique window are readily available, affordable and cost-effective. These include ensuring mothers enter pregnancy well-nourished, are provided with knowledge of what to eat during these precious nine months, and promoting good nutritional practices including breastfeeding and healthy weaning foods for infants and toddlers.