We want mothers and caretakers to know how much their children’s daily intake should be so that they feed them the right amount per age.



Genetics vs. environment

Malnutrition causes illness, infections, increased risk of mortality, delayed cognitive development, and in Cambodia, it is the primary cause of stunting. Forty percent of Cambodian children under the age of five are stunted, and many Cambodians believe it’s simply genetics. Increased vegetable consumption can reduce malnutrition, so 17 Triggers worked with SNV and the CHAIN Project to investigate why children weren’t getting more vegetables, and how to increase children’s intake.

The initial assumption, that families either didn’t know how important vegetables were to children’s health, or they didn’t have access to enough diverse vegetables, was wrong. During field immersion we discovered that children don’t eat enough vegetables because:

  1. caregivers didn’t know the correct portion sizes of vegetables; and
  2. like children everywhere, they don’t like to eat their vegetables—and caregivers don’t force them to.

A colorful conversation on food groups and diversity.

Making Mealtime Fun

Caregivers had to understand the correct vegetable portion sizes (two fistfuls), but also learn new ways to prepare them and how to make eating them attractive to their kids. After various prototypes, “Supermom” was born: an empowering character that could deliver the key messages around portioning , the nutritional superpowers of vegetables, and convince kids to eat their vegetables.

A reminder in wet market stalls to feed children two fists of vegetables per day.

“Supermom” was a multi-layered intervention that included a market activation called the Supermom Veggie Challenge, mealtime demos that showed portioning before and after cooking, caregiver tools such as a portioning bowl and Superkid growth chart, and fun mealtime techniques to entice kids to eat their veggies.

Weekly interactive voice response messages (IVR) supported the campaign with stories that captured common “I don’t want to eat my vegetables!” scenarios, and how Supermom solved them. To date, 5500 households have been reached through the Supermom concept, of which 89% report changes in their eating habits, and “two fistfuls of veggies” is understood as the right portion of vegetables for children.

A game to entice mothers and caretakers to attend activation.