A healthy lifestyle is not a certainty for many families and children in the Netherlands. Not every child has the same chance of a healthy start. These differences have many different causes, but up to now we don’t know which are most important. Involving parents with young children is essential to find out about these unknown factors. This practice is currently insufficiently applied. There is too little insight into the motives of the target group and too often a pedantic approach is used or there is too much emphasis on information transfer. Besides, the entire system around the first 1000 days is important because the responsibility of a healthy start cannot be placed solely with the parents and caregivers. By looking at a problem on a systemic level and positively changing this system on crucial points, a chain reaction of positive results will take place.
Food4Smiles takes place in Amsterdam Nieuw-West because this part of the city has a vast ethnic diversity and many inhabitants inhibit a low socio-economic position. Also, children in Amsterdam Nieuw-West are relatively more overweight than in the rest of Amsterdam and the Netherlands.
In Amsterdam Nieuw-West an average of 2000 babies are born each year.
The home base of Food4Smiles is the Stadsboerderij in Osdorp. This is a sustainable experiment in the middle of the city where nature, healthy food and a kind neighborhood are paramount.
We collect insights from the parents with young children and their immediate social environment. We do this in collaboration with the parents. Together, we investigate what problems they run into, and what they need to give their children a healthy start.We collect insights from the parents with young children and their immediate social environment. We do this in collaboration with the parents. Together, we investigate what problems they run into, and what they need to give their children a healthy start.
Together with the parents and their immediate social environment, we test what works, we investigate why something works and we ensure that successful activities in the neighborhood continue to exist.
We are looking at the broad social system that encompasses the first 1000 days of children in Amsterdam Nieuw-West so that we can better understand which buttons to push within that system to increase the chance of a healthy start.
Because we take a scientific approach to the project, our insights can be used to help parents in other neighborhoods, nationally and internationally.
We are starting a movement in Amsterdam Nieuw-West to show the importance of a healthy first 1000 days for children. We partnered with the Amsterdam Healthy Weight Program (AAGG) and the Amsterdam Health and Opportunity Program.
We use Art to broadcast the importance of a healthy start to everyone in the neighborhood.
The scientific research is carried out by VU University Amsterdam (Department of Health Sciences and the section Youth and Lifestyle). More than 26,500 students study at VU and more than 4,600 employees work for a better world through distinctive education and groundbreaking research. The Youth and Lifestyle section mainly studies how to give and keep a healthy start for every child.
Fred Foundation is committed to contribute to a society that stimulates people to live in harmony with themselves, each other and their environment. We are dedicated to empowering people, improving health and well-being, expanding consciousness, and promoting care for nature and our planet. We do this by carrying out our own projects and by supporting organizations and initiatives through financial donations.