Follow our stories as we nourish kids' potential around the globe:
Our mission is to improve the nutrition of orphaned, fostered, and adopted children so they can grow and thrive. We seek to:
- give as many orphans as possible the chance for healthy development
- influence nutrition policies and procedures for orphans around the world
- ensure that adopted children get the nutrition they need once they come home
There are peak periods neonatally and in early childhood when parts of the brain are shaped. The same goes for other key organs and bodily systems. When certain vitamins and minerals are lacking during these critical times, development malfunctions.
Though research on the nutrition status of orphans and foster children is sorely lacking, studies show that at least half of post-institutionalized kids have low iron levels, often accompanied by other vitamin and mineral deficiencies. There is overwhelming evidence that cognitive and physical abilities are stunted in kids who lack these key nutrients. The implications are particularly critical for orphans who, when demonstrating significant delays and/or diagnoses, are less likely to be selected by families for adoption.
Of course, proper nutrition isn't enough for a child to grow. True growth requires touch and face-to-face interaction. However, evidence abounds that nutritional intervention alone can prevent and/or eradicate certain (often debilitating) conditions and delays.
Providing orphans with a basic diet supplement, such as a daily multivitamin, is one of the simplest solutions for improving the quality and length of their lives. Yet until SPOON Foundation, there has not been an organized effort to identify the micronutrients that orphans lack most and to fill that critical gap. Our focus also includes nutritional deficiencies in international adoptees and foster children, groups now being studied for the first time. We are among the first to disseminate current research and practical guidance to adoptive parents, helping them meet the unique nutritional needs of their children.