Program provides 100,000 children with tools for a healthy trajectory

Nestlé Nutrition Elizabeth Velez
Phone: 973-593-7747

Florham Park, NJ – June 24, 2016 – Committed to providing parents with resources about the importance of combining good nutrition with activities to support children’s early brain and language development, Too Small to Fail (Too Small), Scholastic, National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI), Barbershop Books, Spotify and Gerber Products Company partnered to develop the Meal Time is Talk Time Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action.  The commitment – launched at the sixth annual CGI America meeting – provides a nutritional component to the cognitive and language development work done by Too Small to Fail, highlighting the connection between good nutrition and early brain development.  Over the course of a year, 100,000 children in underserved communities nationwide will receive a bilingual nutrition-themed children’s book as part of the program. The children’s book, At the Farmer’s Market, funded by a $200,000 grant from Gerber, will include customized messages on the back cover to help families engage in language-rich interactions about healthy foods during everyday moments and promotes mealtime conversations. To complement the book, Spotify will develop a special curated Gerber musical playlist that includes songs emphasizing nutritious foods, healthy eating habits and family mealtimes. 

Almost 60 percent of American children start kindergarten unprepared, lagging behind their peers in critical language, math and social-emotional skills. “We know that nutrition plays a critical role in cognitive development which is fundamental to developing skills needed for academic and social-emotional successes.  This partnership brings together a roster of truly amazing organizations dedicated toward the health and overall success of children.  Gerber is excited to lend its nutritional expertise on the first 1,000 days of life, a critical time for setting up children on a healthy trajectory,” said Dr. Wendy Johnson-Askew.

Scholastic’s At the Farmer’s Market/En el Mercado, authored by Anna W. Bardaus and illustrated by Steffane McClary, exposes children to seasonal fruits and vegetables. The bilingual (English/Spanish) book will be distributed to Too Small’s local cities campaigns and through NBCDI’s affiliate networks across the US, including NBCDI’s Good for Me nutrition education program for young children. Barbershop Books will also make the book available through its growing network of child-friendly reading spaces in barbershops across the country.  Together, Gerber, Scholastic and Too Small will leverage their respective digital platforms to raise awareness of the program and engage families around Meal Time is Talk Time

About Gerber

Gerber, founded in 1928, is a Nestlé products company.  Nestlé and Gerber’s combined resources and scientific research expertise have enabled the company to become a worldwide leader in early childhood nutrition. Gerber produces more than 400 food products, all of which are a part of the proprietary Gerber® Start Healthy, Stay Healthy™ nutrition system. The Gerber® Start Healthy, Stay Healthy™ nutrition system combines products, educational resources and services that are designed to encourage the early establishment of healthy eating habits in children from birth to preschool.


Too Small to Fail, a joint initiative of the Clinton Foundation and The Opportunity Institute, is leading a public awareness and action campaign to promote the importance of early brain and language development and to empower parents with tools to talk, read, and sing with their young children from birth. Today, almost 60 percent of children in the United States start kindergarten unprepared, lagging behind their peers in critical language, math, and social-emotional skills. Through partnerships with pediatricians, hospitals, faith-based leaders, community based organizations, businesses, entertainment industry leaders, and others, Too Small to Fail is meeting parents where they are to help them prepare their children for success in school and beyond. Whether at the pediatrician's office or the playground, Too Small to Fail aims to make small moments big by creating opportunities for meaningful interactions anytime, anywhere. 

Learn more at Find resources for parents and caregivers at or on Facebook (, Twitter (@2SmalltoFail), and Instagram (

About Clinton Global Initiative America
Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America brings together leaders from the business, philanthropic, nonprofit, and government sectors to develop solutions that encourage economic growth, support long-term competitiveness, and increase social mobility in the United States. CGI America’s annual convening is designed to be a working meeting that promotes collaboration. Each CGI America participant makes a Commitment to Action: a new, specific, and measurable plan that supports increased economic growth and opportunity. To date, CGI America participants have made nearly 600 commitments, which have improved the lives of more than 4.9 million people. For more information, visit    



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