In honor of National Nutrition Month (US) in March, 1,000 Days is excited to launch our annual #March4Nutrition campaign. As always, we remain laser focused on good nutrition for all. Our weekly themes will explore answers to what if questions centered on expanding health, wellbeing, and nutrition in the first 1,000 Days.

Follow the conversation all month long on 1,000 Days' on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram!

How to use this guide:

The messaging included within this inspiration guide is meant to be used throughout the month of March across social platforms, along with the proposed graphics and/or other general nutrition imagery. Each graphic within this guide is downloadable. To save, right click and select Save As.

We've included both general nutrition content as well as messaging geared toward specific topics, depending on the weekly schedule. We encourage you to use content related to each week's theme.

Week 1: Thriving families

March 4-10

Hashtags: #March4Nutrition, #InvestInNutrition

New blogs:


Why 1,000 days? Why nutrition?

  • Research has consistently shown that the first 1,000 days is a fleeting, critical window when nutrition for both mothers and babies has an outsized impact.
  • Children who receive proper nutrition in the first 1,000 days: have a higher likelihood of birthing at a healthy weight; have a reduced risk of developing a number of illnesses and disorders, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes; become better learners with fewer behavioral issues in kindergarten; and benefit from better health and financial stability.
  • Ensuring children have access to good nutrition when it matters most is one of the most powerful and cost-effective ways to create brighter, healthier futures. Leading economists consistently rank nutrition interventions among the most cost-effective ways to save and improve lives around the world.
  • Not only are nutrition interventions relatively inexpensive to implement, they also have an extremely high return on investment (ROI), with every $1 invested yielding up to $35 in economic returns.

Helping families thrive

  • Mothers, babies, and families can thrive with targeted support, including prenatal vitamins, breastfeeding support, and paid family leave.
  • During pregnancy, women need up to 50% more micronutrients – vitamins and minerals – to support the physiological changes in their bodies and meet the nutritional needs of their growing babies. Meeting this increased intake requirement solely from diet is challenging. Adding to the challenge is the fact that many women, especially in low- and middle-income countries, are already deficient in several micronutrients even before pregnancy: globally, two in three women of reproductive age suffer from at least one micronutrient deficiency.
  • Micronutrient deficiencies during pregnancy put both mothers and babies at risk of birth complications, small vulnerable newborns, and even death, and the lack of nutrients in this critical period can prevent children from reaching their full physical and mental potential.
  • Multiple micronutrient supplementation (MMS) is a daily dose of 15 essential vitamins and minerals, including iron and folic acid. Despite two decades of research backing up its efficacy, the majority of pregnant women in low- and middle-income countries lack access to MMS. We need a unified global effort to make MMS an accessible and impactful intervention for maternal and child health worldwide.
  • Scaling up breastfeeding support is vital to saving children from malnutrition. Breastfeeding lays the foundation for moms, babies and families to survive and thrive.
  • Women need support from all levels - health care professionals, the workplace, their communities and beyond - to meet their breastfeeding goals. Protecting breastfeeding is one of the best investments for saving lives and improving the health, social and economic development of individuals and nations.
  • 83% of workers in the US do not have access to paid family leave. Paid family and medical leave is a public health imperative, essential to ensuring families and communities can remain healthy and well. Lack of paid leave threatens the health and economic security of families and communities, yet the vast majority of Americans do not have access.

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Week 2: Women’s nutrition & gender equality

March 11-17

Hashtags: #March4Nutrition, #GenderNutritionGap, #IWD2024, #InvestInWomen


As part of our #March4Nutrition campaign and alongside the Commission on the Status of Women, we're excited to announce The Gender Nutrition Gap will be hosting an X (formerly Twitter) Chat on Wednesday, March 13th at 9:00 ET/15:00 CET. Find the toolkit here.

Related editorial moments:

  • March 8: International Women’s Day
  • March 11-22: Commission on the Status of Women



  • Women typically carry the brunt of the malnutrition burden. They are the main caretakers of households, farms, and communities, yet often eat last and least.
  • More than 1 billion adolescent girls and women worldwide suffer from undernutrition which includes underweight and short height, micronutrient deficiencies, and anemia.
  • Good nutrition and access to safe, affordable and nutritious foods is a basic human right and crucial to human dignity. When women and girls are empowered to claim their rights it leads to improved nutrition and health for themselves, not only for any children they may have.
  • Nutrition interventions are critical to making concrete, cost-effective, and long-lasting improvements to the status of women and girls around the world. Well-nourished women and girls are healthier, more productive, and more likely to finish school, be economically independent and have healthy babies. Ensuring women have access to proper nutrition can help them grow their power.
  • By boosting individual workforce participation and earning potential, good nutrition has a proven positive impact on women’s full and equal economic participation and opportunity.
  • Access to good nutrition allows girls’ brains to develop fully and impacts how well women and girls can perform in school. It also secures their right to equal educational attainment with men and boys.
  • Nutrition interventions are an underleveraged tool in the fight for women’s rights and empowerment. By leveraging targeted nutrition interventions as a key part of gender equality programming, women’s empowerment actors can give a cost-effective boost to their investments and move the world back closer to reaching SDG 5.
  • The Gender Nutrition Gap is the way in which women and girls’ unique biological needs, disparities in access to food & services and harmful social norms have a bearing on their health and economic outcomes.
  • This framework includes eight 'uplifted' action domains to bridge gaps across sectors, ten principles to guide all actions, and four action areas; each with a framework of policy and program recommendations.

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Week 3: Nutrition & food (in)security

March 18-24

Hashtags: #March4Nutrition, #SNAP, #WIC, #WICStrong, #FoodSecurity

Topic areas to include:

  • SNAP/WIC protect food security
  • Nutrition & climate change
  • Food insecurity around the world



Global food security

  • Global hunger remained relatively unchanged this year, and we saw the gender gap in food insecurity, which got worse during the pandemic, decrease by 37%.
  • Global food insecurity remains far worse than it was in 2019, with around 735 million experiencing hunger in 2022, 122 million more people than in 2019.
  • Ongoing conflict, as well as climate and economic shocks, are large drivers of global hunger.
  • Climate shocks are putting growing stress on food and nutrition security. The food that does grow will be less nutritionally dense, which can lead to deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals.
  • Women are most likely to bear the brunt of this climate-related food insecurity. Not only are women more susceptible to micronutrient deficiencies, but women and girls are more likely to reduce their food intake and eat last and least in their households.
  • Additionally, poorer regions and disadvantaged adolescent girls and women already bear the brunt of undernutrition and anemia and will be least equipped to respond to the climate impacts likely to hit many of these same regions the hardest. By investing in strategies to build resilience to climate-related malnutrition, we can mitigate some of these effects.

Nutrition security

  • Nutrition security means making sure people not only have enough to eat, but that they have sufficient nutrients to ensure they are not malnourished. It means moving beyond solutions focused merely on providing hungry people with starchy staples that may be able to sustain life but are insufficient to meet their nutritional needs. It means ensuring people have access to diverse diets that include fruits, vegetables, legumes, and animal-sourced foods. When healthy diets are unavailable, it means providing stop-gap nutrition interventions, like specialized food supplements and fortified foods, and screening and treating severely malnourished children promptly with ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUTF).
  • In crises, it is easy to focus on the overall number of calories received per person, leaving nutrition sidelined as a secondary component of food security efforts. Quality of calories matter as much as quantity.
  • Even if we fed every hungry person today, millions of women and children would still be malnourished, jeopardizing their wellbeing and limiting countries’ overall potential and growth.
  • To build true food security, we must draw from models that build resilience across vulnerable communities and inculcate nutrition into global food security strategies.

National food and nutrition security

  • USDA and CDC report that average diets in the U.S. are poor, with only a small minority of Americans consuming the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables each day. Food insecurity in the United States is growing: in 2022, an estimated 44 million people, including 13 million children, were living in food-insecure households
  • The United States’ federal nutrition programs form a necessary food safety net, providing access to food and improving nutrition, health, household finances, academic outcomes for children and productivity for adults. They also have broad societal impacts such as supporting farmers and retailers, reducing healthcare costs and increasing gross domestic product.
  • Two key programs are the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
  • SNAP is the largest federal nutrition program, with over 42 million recipients. “SNAP improves food security, offers benefits that enable families to purchase healthier diets, and frees up resources that can be used for health-promoting activities and needed medical care.” SNAP reduces the rate of food insecurity among participants by at least 30%, particularly among young children and the most food insecure families.
  • WIC specifically focuses on “nutritionally at-risk” mothers and children. In addition to offering health screenings and breastfeeding support, WIC families receive vouchers for foods meant to maximize healthy birth outcomes and child development. WIC has demonstrated multiple nutrition and health benefits, including: decreasing fetal deaths and infant mortality; improving the growth of nutritionally at-risk infants and children; and significantly improving children’s diets.
  • National Nutrition Month is an opportunity to highlight the tremendous importance of these programs as we strive to improve the nation’s nutrition and health. Congress recently invested an additional $1 billion in WIC to address growing need for this vital program, and now has another opportunity to help struggling families through continued protection of and investment in SNAP.

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Week 4: What we can do

March 25-31

Hashtags: #March4Nutrition, #InvestInNutrition

Topic areas:

  • Our Advocacy Agenda
  • FHI’s work around the world


The problem

  • Since 1990, the number of preventable child and maternal deaths occurring annually has fallen by half -- due in part to U.S. leadership and investments.
  • However, progress has slowed over the last 12 years. Every year, nearly 300,000 mothers and 5 million children under five die, mostly from preventable causes.
  • Malnutrition is the greatest threat to child survival worldwide, making children more susceptible to deadly infectious diseases such as pneumonia, AIDS, and malaria, and lifelong illness and impairment from stunting and wasting. Three-quarters of children suffering from severe wasting live in non-emergency contexts.
  • Malnutrition costs the world $3.5 trillion in lost productivity and healthcare costs each year. At the societal level, the human potential lost to malnutrition costs low-income nations up to 16% of their GDP in forgone productivity. Despite being entirely preventable, nearly 200 million children globally and over 6.9 million pregnant and lactating women across 12 countries suffered from chronic and acute malnutrition in 2022.
  • Improvements to global rates of malnutrition mask stark increases in certain regions. By April 2024, the UN projects that approximately 158.4 million people will face acute food insecurity in 19 hard-hit countries.

US investment

  • The U.S. government has made strides in better coordinating resources for nutrition. In October 2022, the Global Malnutrition Prevention and Treatment Act was signed into law. The bill places USAID at the center of the U.S. government's work on global nutrition and increases the effectiveness of U.S. government nutrition programs by making them more integrated, coordinated, and strategic. The first annual report was released in December 2023.
  • USAID’s MCH account supports delivery of cost-effective, proven, life-saving services in countries where the burden of preventable deaths is often the highest. Since 2000, through USAID investment, under-five child mortality has dropped by 58 percent and maternal mortality by 42 percent across USAID’s 25 priority countries. See USAID Preventing Maternal and Child Deaths Factsheet.
  • USAID’s Nutrition account supports nutrition programs for women and children, focusing on the first 1,000 days between pregnancy and a child’s second birthday. Programming includes nutrition counseling and community detection of stunting, breastfeeding support, vitamin A supplementation, prenatal vitamins, rehydration salts to treat diarrhea, wasting prevention and treatment.

Our ask

  • In continuing the USG’s efforts to end preventable child and maternal deaths, we request $300 million for Nutrition and $1.15 billion for Maternal and Child Health within USAID Global Health Programs for greatest impact in reducing the number of preventable child and maternal deaths.

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