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New Research on Food Insecurity in Early Childhood

Spoonful of cerealThe Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) has released new research on the Importance of Early Childhood Nutrition, WIC, and CACFP. Here are some of the highlights:
  • Prenatal nutrition is critical to the development of children's bodies and minds
    • Poor iron and folic acid status in pregnant mothers is linked to preterm birth and fetal growth issues
    • Food insecurity in pregnant mothers puts children at increased risk of cleft palate, spina bifida, and other birth defects
  • The first years of a child's life requires adequate food and nutrition to sustain the rapid growth and development required for school readiness and adult well-being. Household food insecurity is linked to physical health and developmental risk during early childhood.
  • Participation in the Women, Infants, and Children program (WIC) leads to better maternal and child outcomes.
    • Mothers participating in WIC while pregnant were more likely to stay connected as their children got older and had "higher rates of good or excellent maternal health".
    • Receiving WIC while pregnant leads to mothers that are more likely to give birth to healthy, full-term babies than non-WIC mothers.
    • WIC participation during the first year is associated with healthy weight, length, and access to medical care than children who do not.
    • For toddlers, WIC usage leads to better cognitive development scores, reduces child food insecurity, and promotes better overall health.
If you or your household are food insecure or need help learning more about food programs, please contact PathWays PA today at 610-543-5022.

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