Malin program, to improve dietary habits of vulnerable infants


Promoting healthy habits among infants aged 0 to 3 from French low-income families

First impact results have been evaluated through a first evaluations carried out in 2015 and 2016 (barometer). It  demonstrated the first trends in the impact of Malin on family eating habits. The main results are :

– 4 times less premature stops of the 2nd age milk

– +25% cook home-made regularly

– 2,5 times less consumption of sugary drinks

– better use of fat

In 2018 the following has been done :

– Training of new members of the field team

– Reinforce the mobilisation of caretakers in the recruitment process

– Develop a cooperation processus with other studies

– Work to improve the number of recruitments in the study monthly

– Excellent follow-up with visits realized up to the “18th months” visit

– Participation in conferences


The Malin program aims to promote healthy habits among infants aged 0 to 3 from French low-income families. It relies on dietary education, breastfeeding promotion and access to adapted foods (fresh F&V and baby food).

It was designed in 2009-2011 by 10 partners from both public and private sectors. It aims to recruit and to follow low-income families in local health centres to improve their infant’s dietary habits.  The Malin program is implemented with local administrations and local non-governmental associations in order to account for existing initiatives and to find the most appropriate adaptation according to the local situation and priorities.

The building blocks of the program are:

  • Training of staff of local health centres
  • Regular visits of the parents at the local Mother and Child Health Centre (PMI in French) for counseling by social workers and dissemination of documents on healthy diet for pregnant women and infants.
  • Weekly distribution of fresh fruits & vegetables in local centers.
  • Regular mailing of vouchers to access baby food when the baby is 6 months old until 24 months.

In 2016, the preparatory work for the MALIN Evaluation Study has been completed in view of its launch in 2017. The design of the study corresponds to a randomized controlled trial of 800 pregnant women identified as socio-economically disadvantaged. Recruitment will occur during the last trimester of pregnancy and follow-up will span birth to 24 months of age.

In 2016, the following tasks have been completed:
– review of the family recruitment process
– review and finalization of study documents
– contract ratified by all the partners
– finalization of operational issues
– field team recruitment
– first article publication
– inscription on