Words of Wisdom: Early Childhood Success Needs a Life Course Perspective

To create communities that are truly first food friendly, we need a life course perspective.
“We (at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation) have a deep understanding of children from a life course perspective. We know how important the life experiences of parents are in shaping the experience of a child. We also understand the impact of childhood adversity that results from the circumstances and conditions in a child’s life. There are toxins, in society and in a child’s physical environment, that can have a negative cumulative effect. We do all we can to mitigate that.

“One example is our emphasis on breastfeeding–what we call ‘first food.’ We know that the human need for social interaction is as fundamental as our need for food, air and water. Neurologically, we are wired for socialization. So the precious time that a mother spends nursing her child not only feeds the body, but the heart and soul. It begins with a pattern of interaction that will make the child healthier and more resilient.”

–Gail Christopher, vice president, program strategy at WKKF (excerpt from the WKKF 2013 Annual Report: Understanding Vulnerable Children: Who Knows What About Early Childhood?)