Child Nutrition and Parenting

Aside from food, hygiene, and access to good healthcare services, children need adequate care at home for their well-being and optimal development. Responsiveness, which refers to a caregiver's sensitive and appropriate interaction with the child, is an essential parenting tool with far-reaching benefits for the child, from improved cognitive and psychosocial development to protection from illness and mortality. We examined two aspects of responsive parenting - its role in child health and development, and the effectiveness of interventions to enhance it - by conducting a systematic review of literature from both developed and developing countries. Our findings revealed that interventions are effective in improving maternal responsiveness, resulting in better child health and development, particularly for disadvantaged populations. Since these interventions were effective even in low-resource settings, they have significant potential in helping us achieve the Millennium Development Goals. We propose that responsiveness interventions be integrated into child survival programs.

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