This is an area which interests me. Just because a child is not starving does not mean he/she is thriving. This has many aspects- social, spiritual, and physically. But all three can be affected by malnutrition- not getting healthy food- especially in the early childhood years. Studies have proven that good nutrition is especially critical in the first 1000 days- from conception to the 2nd birthday. If a child does not get the right kinds of foods in the early years, brain development can be severely stunted. Physically, the child is also damaged and growth stunted. Much of this damage cannot be repaired.
This is one of the reasons why I love the Seeds of Hope program. Beyond helping a family lift itself out of poverty, this program allows parents to provide their children with healthy vegetables and fruits. Beans are packed with protein and leafy vegetables provide critical fiber, vitamins and, minerals (The Health Benefits of Dark Green Leafy Vegetables). I plan on looking into this issue of childhood malnutrition in Eastern Europe over the next couple of weeks.
In the meantime, I have a lot of giveaways for you to enter daily!