Why young children require good nutrition and stimulation

Nutrition and stimulation play a fundamental role in our potential to learn. Only a nourished body and brain can be ready to take on a lifetime of learning. At TRECC, we support training programs in which community members teach parents how to provide nurturing care to their children. Among other partners, we work with Blommer Chocolate Company, and The Hershey Company’s Cocoa for Good program in cocoa-growing communities of Ivory Coast, where focusing on early childhood development is essential to increasing the quality of education. The project is implemented by Helen Keller International.

Stunting is defined by the World Health Organization as the impaired growth and development that children experience from poor nutrition, repeated infection, and inadequate psychosocial stimulation. In Ivory Coast, almost 30% of children under 5 are stunted. They are short for their age, and this impaired growth has consequences such as poor cognition and decreased productivity as an adult.

A focus on caregivers’ training can help families learn best feeding practices and plan nutritious meals for their children. In this video, community agents and participants in the training programs discuss their experience.