NEW YORK, Oct. 14, 2016 /CNW/ - Five in six children under two years old are not fed enough nutritious food for their age, depriving them of the energyand nutrients they need at the most critical time in their physical and cognitive development, according to a new UNICEF report.
"Infants and young children have the greatest nutrient needs than at any other time in life. But the bodies and brains
UNICEF data show that poor nutritional practices – including the delayed introduction of solid foods, infrequent meals and lack of food variety – are widespread, depriving children of essential nutrients when their growing brains, bones and bodies need them the most. The findings reveal that:
Making nutritious foods affordable and accessible to the poorest children will require stronger and more targeted investments from governments and the private sector. Cash or in-kind transfers to vulnerable families; crop diversification programs; and fortification of staple foods are key to improving nutrition for young children. Community-based health services that help caregivers learn better feeding practices, and safe water and sanitation – absolutely critical in preventing diarrhea among children – are also vital.
"We cannot afford to fail in our fight to improve nutrition for young children. Their ability to grow, learn and contribute to their country's future depends on it," Begin said.
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Note to editors
UNICEF's report From the First Hour of Life, provides a global mapping of infant and young child feeding practices. Part I, released on 29th July, focuses on breastfeeding; part II, released on 14th October, is on complementary feeding for children aged six months to two years.
World Food Day Week is celebrated annually on 16th October to raise awareness about undernutrition and to secure commitments for ending hunger in all its forms.
About UNICEF UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.
UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca. For updates, follow us on Twitter and Facebook or visit unicef.ca.
SOURCE UNICEF Canada
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