Economic growth and poverty reduction are not always sufficient to improve child health and nutritional status. Heifer International promotes livestock introduction and related training for community development and poverty alleviation. These programmes do not directly address child health or nutrition. To determine effects of its activities on these important outcomes, Heifer conducted a 4-year longitudinal investigation in rural Nepal. The intervention was associated with significantly improved child anthropometry (related to the duration of intervention exposure) and child health. Heifer activities represent a viable ‘nutrition sensitive’ intervention, but these impacts take time to manifest and be sustained.