The importance of nutrition education throughout infancy and adolescence

Since birth to adolescence the way of nourishing helps to establish eating behaviors for life, this is a key period to form a health adult

Photo of Mariana Velloso
5 5

Written by

I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

Saúde Criança

Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Scaling (the solution has passed the previous stages and is growing its impact on a regional or global scale)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $1mil - $5mil

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 50,000 - 100,000

Organization type

  • Nonprofit, NGO, or citizen sector

Secondary Focus Area

  • Water

Headquarters location: Country

  • Brazil

Headquarters location: City

Rio de Janeiro

Location(s) of impact

Brazil-Porto Alegre Brazil- Belo Horizonte Brazil-Rio de Janeiro Brazil- São Paulo Portugal-Carcavelos


Facebook URL

Twitter URL


Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

Our goal is to address the social determinants of health, the way poverty worsen health. Nowadays, our population is suffering from obesity and/or malnutrition and its consequences, it is a difficult topic to work, but the best and effective way is to start in the early years creating health eating habits. Since our assisted population has children with ages between birth and teenagers, it presents an opportunity to educate them during their period in our program. We also provide information to families responsible.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

Our proposed solution is to use every opportunity during the attendance to address health eating subjects. During two years our families, responsible and children, attend to various activities at SC. We included information about health eating, health and hygiene habits in folders, lectures and group activities. For example, in our group of Mothers and Babies we explain and reinforce the importance of breastfeeding and the bond between mother and baby and also about proper hygiene of utensils, food and the importance of a balanced diet. With teenagers we develop a series of activities about food labels, health foods and importance of macro and micronutrients. Even food tickets analysis is used to educate about better choices in buying food and use of products. Since the program work with the whole family we can approach a subject in various ways and through different members of the same family, in that manner we create awareness around nutrition education and prevention.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

Since the beginning, we could perceive the increase of interest demonstrated by family members on the matter. As we started the program, those responsible for each family began to exchange information about eating habits and choices, and even to point out where they were making wrong choices. That became evident on the analysis of the food tickets receipt made by a nutritionist. Other important impact was on the approach with teenagers. At first, we changed the snack served on our meetings from a ham and cheese white bread sandwich with soft drinks to a low fat cheese with salad in a wheat bread sandwich with juice. The acceptance of this new snack has been increasing with lectures and activities. The first activity was about food labels and contents, as the group showed a lot of interest the program was extended to four meetings instead of one. Also on the evaluation of nutrition status it has been possible to measure changes on family members’ weight to a healthier status.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

The long term vision to assure the implementation of the innovation is the capability of Saúde Criança that has a long the years been able to maintain a variety of partnerships to support their programs: Johnson & johnson sponsor a program called Mothers and Caretakers in the first years 0 to 6 of the children.Praxair Foundation sponsors the grownth of the institution, Ursula Zindel Hilti sponsors the strainghten of Saúde Criança.Air France sponsors the teenagers educational program among others.Saúde Criança has also a program of donation from the civil society. 1-20%; 2 and 3-60%;4-15%;5- 5%

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

SC is the pioneer of a method that transcends the typical approach and addresses all aspects that contribute to total well-being, including biological, social and psychological factors. With tailor-made family plans that address several different dimensions of health at once, the organization’s methodology treats the root causes of the problems by bringing the family out of extreme poverty and to the path of dignity and social inclusion. SC is a systematic anti-poverty program developed.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

SC has always worked with nutrition in order to recover or maintain our children's nutrition status healthy to improve treatment. Our worked started with undernutrition, underweight and hunger but now with global nutrition transition we are also dealing with overweight and malnutrition. The event that trigged the beginning of this new initiative was during a nutrition attendance when a mother of a four months baby that couldn't breastfeed, reported she was adding sugar to her baby bottled milk. And that was something she learned from her elderly as a healthy way for her baby to develop and gain weight. Then we realized that only with education of the whole family with different approaches we could change some of those wrong information that have been passing through generations of low education associated to poverty.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Ashoka page or contact


Join the conversation:

Photo of Mouhamadou Moustapha Seck

Congratulations for the proposal.

View all comments