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Food Nutr Bull. 2003 Mar;24(1):5-28.

Update on technical issues concerning complementary feeding of young children in developing countries and implications for intervention programs.

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Department of Nutrition, University of California, in Davis, California, USA.

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  • Food Nutr Bull. 2003 Jun;24(2):239.


This paper provides an update to the 1998 WHO/UNICEF report on complementary feeding. New research findings are generally consistent with the guidelines in that report, but the adoption of new energy and micronutrient requirements for infants and young children will result in lower recommendations regarding minimum meal frequency and energy density of complementary foods, and will alter the list of "problem nutrients." Without fortification, the densities of iron, zinc, and vitamin B6 in complementary foods are often inadequate, and the intake of other nutrients may also be low in some populations. Strategies for obtaining the needed amounts of problem nutrients, as well as optimizing breastmilk intake when other foods are added to the diet, are discussed. The impact of complementary feeding interventions on child growth has been variable, which calls attention to the need for more comprehensive programs. A six-step approach to planning, implementing, and evaluating such programs is recommended.

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