Together, we will give children the best chance to grow healthy.

The first 1000 days of children’s lives – from conception to a child’s second birthday – offer a unique window of opportunity as the foundations for healthy growth and development later in life are established.

Food4Smiles wants every child to have a healthy start. We contribute to this by collecting as many insights as possible from parents with young children from Amsterdam Nieuw-West and their immediate social environment.

These insights are about what the parents run into and what can help them to offer their children a healthy lifestyle in the first 1000 days. But also, insights about possible solutions and how they work out in daily life. Since many factors influence a healthy start, a systemic approach is needed. Mapping these factors gives us a better understanding of how they influence each other. Food4Smiles combines research, policy, and practice. Also, we deploy various art projects to make the importance of a healthy start visible to everyone in Amsterdam Nieuw-West.

QUOTE from Mom
QUOTE from Dad
QUOTE from Grandma
During my pregnancy, we talked extensively about how everything would go until delivery, but we didn't talk about the first period after delivery at all. That period was tough because I encountered a lot of unexpected things.
Mother (31)
from Amsterdam Nieuw-West
We don't really insist on him finishing his plate. We eat cookies and chips ourselves, so we’re not going to forbid a baby? He's ‘baby chubby’ now, but at this age, I don't care how chubby he is.
Father (37)
from Amsterdam Nieuw-West
The rules are different at my place, it must be fun. As parents, they have to apply their own rules at home. My grandkid only comes to me once or twice a week, so I feel I have the right to spoil him.
Grandmother (48)
from Amsterdam Nieuw-West
We do action research

In combination with the parents, we look for solutions. So together, we can analyze what works and why it works.

muslim woman talking to old lady
We look at the broader system

Besides the parents as primary caretakers, there is a whole network that surrounds them that has an impact on the first 1000 days of a child. We look at what we can improve in that entire system so that we can cause a chain reaction of positive results.

We increase visibility

Together with the neighborhood, we develop various art projects to underline the importance of a healthy start and to share the results of the research appealingly.

eigen verrekijker

Food4Smiles is a unique project that focuses on a healthy start for every child. It combines research, practice, and policy and is a collaboration between Amsterdam Nieuw-West, VU University Amsterdam (Department of Health Sciences), Fred Foundation and the Municipality of Amsterdam (the Amsterdam Healthy Weight Program, the Amsterdam Health and Opportunity Program), and Sarphati Amsterdam.

jaap seidell
Food4Smiles makes a unique contribution to promoting the healthy growth and development of young children by linking insights from various forms of research with practice and policy in areas where it is most needed.
Prof. Ir. J.C. Seidell
Professor of Nutrition and Health, VU University Amsterdam / director Sarphati Amsterdam