All nurturing care domains—nutrition, health, responsive care, early learning, and safety and security— are critical to improve early childhood development (ECD) outcomes. Integrating responsive care and early learning messages within existing nutrition packages has significant potential to amplify the impact of both nutrition and ECD outcomes.
To address gaps in existing nutrition packages, USAID Advancing Nutrition, together with an external technical advisory group, is developing a counseling package that can be added or integrated into existing child health, nutrition, or infant and young child feeding (IYCF) counseling packages. The technical advisory group comprised an interdisciplinary team of experts in ECD, nutrition, and social and behavior change to agree on priority behaviors to integrate into nutrition packages, as well as the structure and content to facilitate adapting existing materials.
The addendum will include illustrated counseling cards, training materials, as well as a guide for planning, adaptation, and implementation. The addendum is designed for a general audience, allowing flexibility and adaptation to different country contexts and nutrition or health packages. Moreover, the addendum content is not specific to a geographic region or sub-region, and programs can adapt it to fit the local context by adjusting the content and delivery modalities most appropriate for the local context.
USAID Advancing Nutrition is preparing the package for pilot testing in the next year, and a final version will be made available on the website after testing. The current version, which has yet to be validated, is available by request to USAID Advancing Nutrition. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.