Training caregivers on modern feeding and nutrition screening is reducing one of the biggest killers of children in developing countries — malnutrition.
Around the world, sponsors like you help to meet the most vital needs of children — including love in abundance, and plenty of nourishing food. But for a growing child, nutrition is so much more than just food. That’s why, three years ago, Holt launched a groundbreaking new program to improve the lives of children through optimized nutrition and feeding in the care centers and communities in which we work. Because many children struggle with nutrition-related health problems or have special needs that require specialized feeding, this program is meeting a huge need.
The Holt International Child Nutrition Program is now implemented in India, China and Vietnam and we will soon expand our reach to children in Ethiopia and Mongolia.
While this program is scientific and involves research, testing and trainings, the heart of Holt’s child nutrition program is the individual child — each boy and girl who will now be a survivor of malnutrition or never have to experience it in the first place. Together with sponsors like you, we are striving for a world where every child can grow healthy and strong, and reach their fullest, most thriving potential.
1. DETERMINE THE NEED
Holt’s child nutrition program begins by assessing the care facility. It’s kind of like a health inventory of the children’s needs and the caregivers’ abilities to meet them. To do this, a team of Holt staff and our nutrition partners from the SPOON Foundation travel overseas to screen children for nutritional deficiencies and observe how they are fed.
2. DEVELOP A PLAN
Next, we create an individualized plan for the care center with goals and implementation steps that are sensitive to their culture and unique to their needs.
3. TRAIN CAREGIVERS
During an intensive training, caregivers learn about the effects of malnutrition, how to feed children with special needs, and the steps they must take to improve the health of children in their care.
4. FEEDING METHODS
Caregivers begin to implement what they’ve learned — using the feeding method most appropriate for each child’s age and special need.
5. CHART GROWTH
Throughout this process, children are tested for anemia and other nutritional deficiencies and children’s height, weight and head circumference are regularly measured. This data is entered into a database so that care centers can track the long-term growth of each individual child.
Throughout the year, Holt staff checks in with the care centers to offer encouragement and guidance — presenting refresher trainings as needed.