“Did you know that the first 1000 days are crucial for a mother and baby?” Asked my student. My online bat mitzvah student told me that as part of her Online Jewish education and bat mitzvah preparation with me, that she wanted to learn more and help out women and babies. She directed me to a wonderful charity called 1,000 days where we both learned that the first 1,000 days are a time of tremendous potential and enormous vulnerability. How well or how poorly mothers and children are nourished and cared for during this time has a profound impact on a child’s ability to grow, learn and thrive. This is because the first 1,000 days are when a child’s brain begins to grow and develop and when the foundations for their lifelong health are built.
Research in the fields of neuroscience, biology and early childhood development provide powerful insights into how nutrition, relationships, and environments in the 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and a child’s 2nd birthday shape future outcomes.
Nutrition, in particular, plays a foundational role in a child’s development and her country’s ability to prosper. Poor nutrition in the first 1,000 days can cause irreversible damage to a child’s growing brain, affecting her ability to do well in school and earn a good living—and making it harder for a child and her family to rise out of poverty. It can also set the stage for later obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases which can lead to a lifetime of health problems.
Studies show that countries that fail to invest in the well-being of women and children in the first 1,000 days lose billions of dollars to lower economic productivity and higher health costs. It is why several of the world’s leading economists have called for greater investments in the nutrition and well-being of mothers, babies, and toddlers as a way to create brighter and more prosperous futures for us all.
My online bat mitzvah student generously decided to donate a large percentage of her bat mitzvah gift money to this charity and encouraged her guests to consider making a donation as well.
My online bat mitzvah student went to Hebrew school for a few years but there she focussed on learning to read the Hebrew language. She loves that as part of her current Jewish education at CoolCantor, she can explore ways in which she can make an impact and help people in the world with her kindness.