1,000 Days Help Shape a Lifetime

The time from conception to age two is the most critical period of development in the life of any individual.

During these 1,000 days, the foundation is laid in a child’s brain for processing information, learning language, developing and enhancing motor skills and other functions that are critically important later in life.

If children and their mothers do not get proper nutrition in those critical 1,000 days, we have missed our opportunity to help ensure those children reach their full potential. Unfortunately this happens all too often.

Stunting the World’s Potential

Stunting is what happens to a child’s brain and body when they don’t get the right kind of food or nutrients, particularly in the 1000 days between conception and their second birthday. Stunted children have a low height for age but it goes beyond just physical height – organs may not fully develop and cognitive development may suffer.

The damage can be irreversible. That child may never learn, nor earn, as much as they could have if properly nourished in early life.

162 million children in the world are stunted with life-long consequences including weakened immune systems, and a risk of not reaching their full potential.

“Stunted” is really just code for lost potential – lost to the person, lost to their families and communities, and lost to the world.

The fight against poverty can never be won while entire generations are stunted, and with their development potential limited because they don’t have access to good nutrition, as well as prevention and treatment to common childhood illnesses.

MI’s belief that simply surviving is not enough drives our work in Child Health, Growth and Development. We want to increase the number of children, particularly those under the age of two, who thrive by making sure they get the essential vitamins and minerals they need to promote their optimal health, growth and development.

Our work in this area includes Infant and Young Child Nutrition and iron supplementation for children.