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Quaker's 'Bowl Of Growth' Program Shines Light On The Crucial Role Of Child Nutrition

Quaker, one of the leading players in the oats segment and a brand that stands for nutrition, has launched the Quaker Bowl of Growth Program, an initiative to fight against child malnutrition.

Quaker's 'Bowl Of Growth' Program Shines Light On The Crucial Role Of Child Nutrition

Quaker Bowl of Growth is a special nutrition program with the aim of addressing child malnutrition.

As per the World Health Organization (WHO), malnutrition contributed to about 45% of deaths^, globally, in children under 5 years of age until 2021. In India, malnourishment in children under 5 years, which includes stunting, wasting and being underweight, has reduced as per NHFS-5 (2019-21)~ from 38.4% to 35.5%, 21.0% to 19.3% and 35.8% to 32.1% respectively as compared to NHFS-4 (2015-16).

Despite these improvements, malnutrition remains a significant challenge globally and in India, particularly impacting children during their crucial developmental years, affecting their physical growth and overall well-being. This issue has enduring consequences, influencing educational attainment and future livelihoods.

In Pune district, National Family Health Survey (NFHS) data indicates that 30.7% of children under five years were stunted in 2019-21, 32.7% were underweight, 31.4% were wasted and 14% were severely wasted. This highlights the urgent need to address the issue.

Quaker, one of the leading players in the oats segment and a brand that stands for nutrition, has launched the Quaker Bowl of Growth Program, an initiative to fight against child malnutrition. Launched in April 2023 in partnership with PepsiCo Foundation, PepsiCo R&D and MAMTA HIMC, Quaker Bowl of Growth is a special nutrition focused program with the aim of addressing child malnutrition in pre-identified blocks of rural areas in Pune, Maharashtra.

The program is structured around three key pillars: Nutrition, Awareness, and Education. Nutrition needs are addressed through 'Panjiri', a locally inspired recipe for mildly malnourished children. It is crafted with Quaker Multigrain & Millet*, specially designed and enriched with 18 essential vitamins and minerals, ensuring it is both nutritious and tasty. Awareness is enhanced through specially curated thematic engagement sessions for children and their parents/caregivers. Education is advanced through structured workshops, which are conducted regularly, exerting a positive influence on the quality of life for both children and their caregivers. Complementing these efforts, Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) materials in the form of - posters, leaflets, flipbooks, and an illustrated comic book have also been introduced.

'Dohale Jevan Poshanchi Vaati', the recently launched long-format ad film, has been crafted by embedding cultural narratives with the critical importance of nutrition, as perceived through the eyes of a child concerned about his yet-to-be born sibling's well-being. The emotionally evocative narrative not only supplements the nutritional needs required to address child nutrition but also weaves in elements of ethnicity and culture to forge a profound connection with the audiences. The film is yet another leg of spreading awareness.

In her remarks on the film launch, Sravani Babu, Associate Director, and Category Lead - Quaker, PepsiCo India, said, "Quaker's endeavour to fight against malnutrition started last year when we partnered with MAMTA HIMC to launch Quaker Bowl of Growth Program in Pune. We have focused on the local needs of the community to nourish, educate, and raise awareness from the very start, whether in the form of Panjiri the food served to children or driving awareness through an age-old ritual, to echo with the community."

PepsiCo has launched Quaker Bowl of Growth initiative as part of the PepsiCo Positive (pep+) strategy aimed at sustainability.

The Quaker 'Bowl of Growth' program is currently targeting the upliftment of community health by identifying and supporting 1,000 mildly malnourished children aged 3-5 years in Mawal & Mulshi

Blocks of Pune District. This is achieved through a standard age-appropriate anthropometric assessment to assess their nutritional status and medical screenings. Once identified, these children are daily provided with 'panjiri, a locally acceptable recipe made by a specially designed Quaker's multigrain & millet product, enriched with 18 essential vitamins & minerals.

Program's success is being tracked through anthropometric evaluation at 3- & 6-months post-intervention, with monthly checks to monitor recovery from malnutrition. Our point of difference is to address the issue before it reaches a critical stage. Mild malnutrition if not addressed in a timely manner, may proceed into more severe forms of malnutrition requiring intensive clinical intervention.

In parallel, as part of the program parents and caregivers are engaged in focused educational sessions on nutrition, to further reinforce the foundation of proper nutrition within the community.

*Quaker Multigrain & Millet product is a part of Quaker Bowl of Growth initiative, to provide nutrition to children aged 3-5 years only. Does not claim to provide nutrition to infants. Not for commercial sale. ~National Family Health survey - 5, 2019-2021,


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