Adequate nutrition is a fundamental right of all children and helps provide the best start in life. High-impact nutrition interventions focus on infant and young child feeding, sufficient micronutrients such as vitamin A and iodine, nutrition security in emergencies, and nutrition and HIV and AIDS. These are delivered using a life-cycle approach, emphasizing partnerships and integrated interventions to maximize effectiveness.
What can religious communities do to promote infant and young child nutrition?
- Incorporate messages and information about the importance of nutrition into worship services, rituals, religious festivals and childhood religious rites.
- Offer nutrition education and food preparation instruction for parents, particularly stressing the importance of micronutrients and six months of exclusive breastfeeding and use their media to disseminate messages regarding the importance of optimal infant and young child nutrition
- Support distribution efforts during periods of food insecurity using churches, mosques, temples and other religious structures as distribution centres.
- Provide information about community needs in areas where humanitarian organizations may have difficulty accessing this.
- Conduct outreach services for immunizations, micronutrient supplementation and other important childhood health interventions by leveraging their moral influence and vast networks.
- Advise humanitarian organizations on their communities’ dietary restrictions and other principles that may hinder the effectiveness of conventional nutrition interventions