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Policy Options on the Implementation of Plans for Improving the Nutrition of Pre-School Children in Poor Rural Areas in China (No.271, 2020)


By Du Zhixin, Xu Jingqiu, Cao Yan, Wu Zhiping, Liang Bojiao & Bu Fan, Research Team on “Improving the Nutrition of Pre-School Children in Poor Rural Areas”, China Development Research Foundation

Research Report, No.271, 2020 (Total 6015) 2020-11-13

Abstract: The nutrition of pre-school children of 3-6 years old in China’s poor rural areas is still much insufficient than that of urban children while relevant policies for improving their nutrition are not in place. Research findings show that the period of age 3 to age 6 is critical for the development of children’s brains and cognitive abilities. Although malnutrition at an early age will affect children’s growth adversely, effective nutritional supplements can help improve children’s nutrition in the following stage of their growth. The government has attached great importance to the nutrition of children in impoverished rural areas and initiated nutrition improvement programs for rural students in the nine-year compulsory education stage and infant period. However, policies on improving the nutrition of children at the age of 3-6 are not in place. Guizhou Province, Chongqing Municipality and Liangshan Prefecture of Sichuan Province have carried out policy trials in this regard, which have proved feasible and effective. To stop the inter-generational transmission of poverty and improve the well-being of children in poor rural areas, the government needs to introduce plans for improving nutrition of the pre-school children in poor rural areas as soon as possible, provide meals and build canteens in line with local conditions and improve the education on nutritional diet for children in kindergartens to help them develop sound and healthy nutrition concepts.

Keywords: children, plans for improving nutrition, pre-school stage, malnutrition