WHAT WE DO
The first 1,000 days (from conception to age 2 years) of a child’s life are critical for growth and development. Inadequate feeding practices and exposure to illnesses can leave children stunted, which is associated in adulthood with poverty, lower cognitive skills, and for women, higher risk of maternal death.
CRS engages partners, governments, families and communities to address factors that cause childhood malnutrition by employing effective, low-cost interventions. Our nutrition programming crosses many sectors, including water, health, peacebuilding, agriculture and education.
HOW WE DO IT
Increasing access to quality services: CRS works with a wide range of public, private and faith-based health providers to strengthen services that support good nutrition for families. Some of these services include breastfeeding support for mothers, growth monitoring for children, training on proper food preparation and storage, and managing chronic illnesses.
Engaging communities: CRS works with communities so they are able to take responsibility for the nutrition of children, mothers and pregnant women in the community. We help them address the causes of chronic malnutrition and advocate for improved behaviors and services.
Improving household nutrition practices: CRS’ nutrition programs use highly effective social and behavior change communications strategies to support family members to engage in optimal health and nutrition practices. Some examples of our tools include audio books that promote optimal nutrition practices for use among low literacy populations, giant community scoreboards to track the number of exclusively breastfed infants to encourage exclusive breastfeeding and feeding bowls, which help parents measure out appropriate quantities of food for their children at each meal.