Childhood nutrition is the most Critical and Economically sound intervention


Is it possible that every dollar spent on childhood nutrition can save up to $166? A new study says that it is possible and that is the best investment for your development dollar and our own research and work in rural Guatemala demonstrates similar exciting results!

German, our Nutrition Program Director, measures a baby with mother close by. Photo by

A recent study by Susan Horton from University of Waterloo and professor John Hoddinott from Cornell confirmed that childhood nutrition is the most critical and economically sound intervention!

The study visited a long-running nutrition experiment in Guatemala that started in 1969 and the children who were better nourished during their first 1000 days turned out to have much higher incomes as adults! They had a 66% higher household consumption, an impressive improvement in quality of life all due to the simple nutrition interventions in childhood.

Horton and Waterloo  found that spending a small amount –  on providing nutritional supplements, deworming, education, and improving the balance of the diet, can transform a child’s future.

Their overall cost-benefit analysis of nutrition interventions aimed at reducing stunting concludes that every dollar spent on nutrition in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life can give a saving of an average $45 and in some cases as much as $166.

Our Child Nutrition program provides universal nutritional and micronutrient supplementation to all children from 6 months of age onward and to all pregnant and lactating women. We also focus on educating child caregivers about breastfeeding, complementary foods, common childhood illnesses, hygiene and clean water through our community-based nutrition education classes. Additionally, the foundation for all of our nutrition programs is the provision of good primary care for children. Children with complex needs are immediately referred to our surgical or special needs programs.

In order to know how to implement our nutrition programs and have the best results, we have invested in research which has informed our education and service programs. Also, our research in Guatemala shows that understanding the local culture and language and working closely with community members has great results. See more of our nutrition research here!

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We are working to #EndMalnutrition and #GrowGuatemala to transform the future of Guatemala. Join us!