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Malnutrition is an underlying cause in more than half of the 22,000 daily, preventable deaths of children.
In Guatemala, where rising food prices are compounding the problem, UNICEF is using another innovative solution to help save children's lives: "Sprinkles."
Known as "Chispitas" in Latin America, Sprinkles are a unique way of getting vulnerable children the nutrients they need to survive and thrive. A blend of micronutrients—like iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc and folic acid in powder form—Sprinkles come in small packets (much like sugar packets) and are easily sprinkled on food at home.
UNICEF distributes Sprinkles around the world. In practice, UNICEF has learned that the use of Sprinkles in Guatemala carries several tangible advantages. Here are just a few:
• Their micronutrient content fulfills the daily dietary recommendations for children from 6 months to 5 years of age.
• Sprinkles can provide the daily dose of micronutrients to each child regardless of the quantity of complementary food that
• There are little to no changes to the taste, color or texture of the food to which Sprinkles are added.
• The packets are easy to use and convenient. No special measuring utensils or handling is required and they can be given at any mealtime during the day.
• One does not have to be literate to learn how to use them.
• The use of Sprinkles does not require any change in food practices as it can be mixed with homemade foods.
• Sprinkles can be easily incorporated into the busy rhythm of everyday life.
• The packets are lightweight and thus are simple to store, transport and distribute. Sprinkles have a long shelf-life, even in hot conditions (2 years).
• The packaging of Sprinkles is attractive and thus is easily accepted.
• The use of Sprinkles has been embraced by Guatemala’s National Strategy for the Reduction of Chronic Malnutrition which will ensure sustainability over the long term.
• The low cost of Sprinkles is in line with UNICEF’s low-cost, effective strategies.
And best of all, kids like 'em.
For more information visit: http://www.unicefusa.org/news/news-from-the-field/fighting-malnutrition-with.html