The first 1,000 days spanning roughly between conception and a child’s second birthday is a period of unique development, representing both risk and opportunity. It is during this time that a foundation is laid in a child’s brain, with 799 new neural connections established every second, making it especially vulnerable to external factors, including optimal nutrition, strong social support, and secure attachment. Enhancing the linkages between good nutrition, brain development, and nurturing care can strengthen multi-sectoral programming to improve health and development outcomes.
In this webinar Dr. Sarah Cusick, Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota, provided an overview of how nutrient deficiency in the first 1,000 days can lead to long-term dysfunction and how application of the general principles of nutrient and brain interaction can help inform programming. Patricia Jodrey from USAID’s Child Health Team provided further context through the lens of the Nurturing Care Framework.
- Nutrition and the Brain: The Importance of the First 1000 Days (PDF, 1.91 MB)
- Nurturing Care Framework (PDF, 2.3 MB)