The First 1000 Days, from pregnancy to a child’s second birthday, is the most crucial period in a mom’s and baby’s life. Increasing evidence shows that meeting the age specific nutritional needs during the First 1000 Days of life will positively influence short and long-term health outcomes.
To this end, Nestlé introduces a powerful, public and socially responsible initiative in Pakistan to inform and educate about the importance of nutrition in the First 1000 Days of life through its Nestlé Start Healthy Stay Healthy (NSHSH) platform. The initiative was launched via an exclusive press meet in Karachi.
The event was hosted by renowned radio personality Khalid Malik and featured media addresses by Nestlé’s Nutrition Business Executive Head, Mr. Jason Avancena, Nestlé’s Code Compliance Manager, Mr. Amir Ikram, Nestlé’s Nutrition Medical Director Dr. Huma along with actress and TV personality Juggun Kazim, activist and motivational speaker Muniba Mazari, legendary music icon Hadiqa Kiani and musician Ali Hamza who spoke about their specific experience and learning during the First 1000 Days of life.
NSHSH’s First 1000 Days journey aims to educate women and men on the significance of nutrition during the most crucial time period of life, dividing the awareness initiative into 3 stages i.e. pregnancy, weaning and toddler stage. Globally launched and lauded across the last 3 years, the First 1000 DAYS nutrition initiative is particularly significant in Pakistan where there is little formal/informal education and awareness on the early stages of a child’s life and on women’s health in general. The NSHSH endeavors to build more of such awareness.
The FIRST 1000 DAYS is centered on the following three stages:
1. Pregnancy: Educating mothers about the importance of nutrition at the very beginning of a new life (conception), how their body and baby changes during pregnancy and how they may maintain a nutritionally balanced diet.
2. Weaning/Common Problems: The process of introducing a child to semi–solid food at 6 months of age to complement his/her growing nutritional needs. NSHSH educates mothers from when to wean a baby along with the importance of weaning and the good choices of weaning foods.
3. Toddler: Once the child enters the most exciting time of his/her life i.e. toddler stage, his/her nutritional needs also vary. Every part of his/her body is developing, including the motor, verbal and cognitive skills. NSHSH reflects on all the changes from toys to diapers and of course nutritional needs.
Individual nutritional needs for each stage of growth have to be met through a rich, varied and balanced diet. By the time First 1000 Days are over, a healthy child is all set for the world out of his warm nest. As the child enters the playgroup stage and has turned 3, he/she is busy discovering, exploring and playing through which he/she learns and develops his/her cognitive skills. Giving him/her the best nutrition to ensure the finest mental development is crucial during the First 1000 Days.