At the St. Gabriel dispensary in Conaky, Guinea, the treatment of malnutrition includes playtime for children
At the St. Gabriel dispensary in Conaky, Guinea, the treatment of malnutrition includes playtime for children

As part of its research work on small quantity lipid-based nutritional supplements (LNS-SQ) during the 1000-days period, Nutriset pays close attention to the link between nutrition and cognition, including the function of cognitive stimulation.

Experts in early childhood development have demonstrated that, for a child to develop harmoniously and to be able to reach its full potential, specially adapted diet must go hand in hand with providing love, protection and stimulation. During the twelve months following birth, the brain undergoes a phase of intense neuronal construction. At the age of 3, more than 80% of the brain is formed. Activities during these early years play a vital role in the growth of the child.

Promoting games and playing with toys may increase creation of novel cerebral connections. Accompanied by a positive environment where the negative effects of stress are mitigated, the absorption of nutritional intake is improved and thus the impact of good nutrition is enhanced.

The cognitive development of children is key at both individual and societal levels. A child suffering from malnutrition, if under-stimulated cognitively and socio-emotionally, will see his development impaired, often irreversibly. This is likely the case for almost 43% of children under five living in low and middle-income countries who do not receive the nutrition, protection and stimulation they need.

The cognitive, psychosocial and emotional stimulation of children suffering from malnutrition are undoubtedly complementary elements to be integrated to their nutritional care, to improve healing and prevent impaired development.

In continuation of its 30-year commitment to fight malnutrition, Nutriset is dedicated to offering humanitarian actors and community health workers simple and ecological solutions to enhance the effectiveness of its products and simultaneously promote the cognitive development of children receiving those products.