Home
The Family Meal - 1000 Days - A Window to Another World
In the life of a child, nutrition during the first 1,000 days - from a mother’s pregnancy to the child’s second birthday - can mean the difference between a promising future or one plagued by poor health and stunted physical and mental growth.
This 1,000-day window determines the course of a child’s life, the shape and future of their families and communities, as well as the stability and prosperity of our planet.
A Colombian refugee and expectant mother attends a WFP training session on good nutrition in Ecuador.© World Food Programme / Chris Terry, supported by the EU
Given their specific needs and high level of vulnerability, children under two need more than the family meal to grow and develop to their full potential.
A proud father holds his baby boy. In Chad, WFP and the EU team up to reduce acute malnutrition among children under five and pregnant and breastfeeding women.© World Food Programme / Chris Terry, supported by the EU
As well as additional meals prepared specifically for them, children under two also need health care and a clean environment.
A baby in Myanmar receives ‘SuperCereal Plus’, a specialized product of blended wheat and soya, reinforced with the micronutrients required by infants between 6-24 months.© World Food Programme / Chris Terry, supported by the EU
Around the world, roughly half of all child deaths can be attributed to undernutrition.
In Niger, a girl has the circumference of her upper arm measured at a screening centre for malnutrition. © World Food Programme / Chris Terry, supported by the EU
Every year, 3.1 million young children die around the world from undernutrition and related causes.
In Jordan, a Syrian refugee boy waits impatiently for his dinner. © World Food Programme / Chris Terry, supported by the EU
But these deaths are preventable. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is committed to ensuring all children receive the nutrition they need during their first 1,000 days.
Little Aicha and her cousin, Budur, were both born in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp four months ago. They receive special micronutrients, which are essential for the healthy development of children under two. © World Food Programme / Chris Terry, supported by the EU
Last year, funding from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) helped WFP provide special nutritional support to four million children under the age of two, and three million women.
In Myanmar, a little boy enjoys a family meal of rice, fried potatoes, chickpea soup and spinach. His mother bought the ingredients at a local market thanks to a WFP cash grant, funded by the EU. © World Food Programme / Chris Terry, supported by the EU
To prevent undernutrition, WFP advises mothers to breastfeed their children up to the age of two, and exclusively during the first six months. A big challenge to raising awareness about breastfeeding is that WFP’s advice sometimes contradicts traditional practices.
In Chad, a mother breastfeeds her child while enjoying her family meal. She knows that breastfeeding can change the course of her child’s life.© World Food Programme / Chris Terry, supported by the EU
Nutrition is not just food: a weak body means a weaker immune system. Malnourished children are more prone to diseases such as diarrhoea, measles and malaria, which in turn worsen malnutrition.
At a WFP food distribution in Niger, women attend a demonstration on how to install a mosquito net.© World Food Programme / Chris Terry, supported by the EU
Thus, to prevent and treat undernutrition effectively, other problems must be tackled, such as poor access to basic health services.
In Ecuador, a boy carefully washes his hands before his family meal.© World Food Programme / Chris Terry, supported by the EU