A father smiles while feeding his son.
Photo Credit: Andrew Cunningham/JSI

This webinar shared results of scoping and mixed methods reviews of studies examining behavioral interventions to increase family support for recommended maternal and child nutrition practices in low- and middle-income countries.

Nutrition programs tend to focus on mothers and overlook how other family members influence nutrition and caregiving during pregnancy and early childhood. There is considerable evidence that other family members, particularly fathers and grandmothers, have significant influence on food access, intra-household distribution of food, child feeding, and ultimately, over maternal nutrition and infant and young child feeding practices.

Although this reality is widely recognized anecdotally, there is limited evidence on the extent to which nutrition programs engage other family members. There is even less evidence identifying which engagement approaches effectively support optimal nutrition practices during the critical first 1,000 days, from the start of a woman’s pregnancy to the child’s second birthday. A comprehensive, systematic literature review aimed to fill these gaps and provide guidance for effective nutrition programs.

We discussed how and why to engage families, and translate the evidence into program and policy implications. We also described the range of social and behavior approaches that engage family members and their effectiveness for improving nutrition behaviors in the first 1,000 days.

You can access the resources and articles mentioned during the webinar using the links below. Please stay tuned for USAID Advancing Nutrition's program guidance on designing and implementing programs and interventions to engage family members in maternal and child nutrition.

Webinar Recording

Webinar Resources


Katherine Dickin, PhD, Associate Research Professor and Director, Program in International Nutrition, Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University

Kate Litvin, Technical Specialist, USAID Advancing Nutrition  

Stephanie Martin, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition, Gillings School of Global Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Dadirai Fundira, PhD, Researcher, International Division, Mathematica Policy Research

Laura Itzkowitz, Nutrition Social and Behavior Change Advisor, USAID, Bureau for Global Health