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First Foods for Young Children

Why these videos?

As infants grow, their nutrient needs grow with them. After the first six months of life, an infant’s nutrient demands start to exceed what breastmilk alone can provide. To keep up with these growing needs, the World Health Organization recommends that infants begin eating solid or soft foods, i.e., their first foods, at 6 months of age to ensure that their nutrient intake is sufficient to fuel their developing brains and bodies. These first foods should be safe, nutritious and ideally provided in addition to breastmilk from 6 to 23 months of age

Nutritious diets for children are about more than just food. When, what and how a child is fed greatly impacts his or her health and development. Caregivers must provide children’s first foods at the right age, select a diverse range of nutritious foods, provide those foods frequently, prepare and store foods safely, respond to the child’s hunger signals and provide a nurturing environment by interacting with the child during feeding. While the recommendations on appropriate complementary feeding practices are well established, recent studies have shown that this knowledge is not being translated into practice.

As per global estimates, only one in six children in low- and lower-middle-income countries receives enough nutritious foods to ensure healthy growth and development.

Skilled support delivered through frontline workers within the health system and at the community level is a critical platform to improve caregivers’ knowledge on when, what and how to appropriately feed their children. In many cases, not having access to this skilled support is the key barrier that prevents caregivers from practicing the needed behaviours. The videos in these series, which have been filmed using real home feeding situations in African and Asian settings, will serve as a critical tool to help frontline workers and caregivers understand the when, what and how of feeding children aged 6–23 months. These series, while complementing other tools being used in the countries, will help to ensure consistency and uniformity in the delivery of key messages.When used at scale, the videos have the potential to improve the diets of young children across many settings.

Who are these videos for?

There are two video series for:

  • educating mothers and caregivers
  • training of frontline workers



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