The health of children is produced within the social structures of daily life. This paper looks at children in a large, self-help settlement within the city of Cairo, Egypt. It shows how the social and physical conditions of the community, and the specific resources of households, condition the processes by which better or worse health is produced for children under the age of 3. Health status is measured by anthropometric observation and by household survey. Variables are defined and positioned in the analysis according to a framework that links biological outcomes to social determinants through intermediate factors. The analysis makes use of multivariate modeling, as well as qualitative data collected by direct observation in the community.