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Consistency is the key

The first 1,000 days of nutrition towards suppressing malnutrition

Photo courtesy of NNC- NCR
Photo courtesy of The IDS Medical Group

In a nutshell, the Abakada or ABCD’s of the First 1,000 Days of Life are:

A – Alagaan ang Buntis

B – Breastfeeding kay Baby

K – Complementary Feeding na Sapat at;

D – Dapat suportado ang PPAN (Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition)

On July 16, the NNC-NCR is also set to hold an Information Sharing Session to address questions pertaining to complementary feeding. In conclusion, the answer to malnutrition is the same solution we have to any difficult circumstances – consistency.

The 47th Nutrition Month to be celebrated in the Philippines since the ratification of Presidential Decree No. 491 on 1974 has already come in sight with a theme “Malnutrisyon Patuloy Na Labanan, First 1,000 Days Tutukan.” 

Annually, Filipinos get to celebrate a month filled with activities that centers on fostering awareness about the root causes of malnutrition and the plausible measures to lessen the vulnerability of populations. However, on a daily basis, we get to see the real and ever-changing faces of malnutrition that continues to dwell in the scene of Filipino children. To date, 2 out of 10 or 21.5% of children in the Philippines are reportedly underweight according to the 6th Updating of National Nutrition Survey (NNS) in 2015.

This year, the National Nutrition Council (NNC) is advocating for the suppression of prevalent malnutrition cases in all of its forms through a rather proactive than reactive approach with due emphasis on the essential first 1,000 days of a child’s life.

How exactly essential are the First 1,000 Days of Life?

The first 1,000 days of life refers to the period covering the time when the pregnancy of the mother has started until the moment she gives birth and her child reaches the age of two years old.

Based on the 2015 Updating of the Nutritional Status of Filipino Children and Other Population Group by the Department of Science and Technology – Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI), infant and young child feeding (IYCF) in the first two years of a child’s life is a crucial phase that could result into nutritional deficiencies leading to manifestations of “developmental delays” such as stunted growth when poorly practiced.

But how the First 1,000 Days of Life ought to be?

The National Nutrition Council – National Capital Region (NNC – NCR) has digitally launch a video premiere on the first day of Nutrition Month this July 2021 entitled “Tanong Mo, Sagot Ko: ABKD ng F1K” featuring Nutrition Program Coordinator (NPC) Mila Federizo.

This virtual informative session has particularly brought the proper nutritional practices into view as to how the first 1,000 days of a child’s life should be nurtured and tended.

Here are the key takeaways from the video session:

  1. Scheduling prenatal checkups is important to regularly monitor the nutritional status of the baby while inside the mother’s womb.
  1. The prepared birth plan prior to due date of pregnancy should include giving birth to a health facility that is attended by a medical professional.
  1. A child must be exclusively breastfed from age 0-6 months because breast milk contains the essential nutrients that a child needs from the time of birth.
  1. At six months, a child can already be introduced to complementary feeding while in breastfeed. Any from the Go, Grow, and Glow food groups are allowed but parents must invariably take notice of the variety and consistency of the food they will feed to their child.
  1. Scheduling a postnatal checkup is equally important as the prenatal checkups.

(PIA-NCR with reports from OJT Janna Pineda)

About the Author

Alaine Allanigue



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