Send to

Choose Destination
Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2012 Oct;22(10):799-805. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2012.03.012. Epub 2012 Jun 29.

Complementary feeding patterns in India.

Author information

Division of Nutrition, St. John's Research Institute, St. John's National Academy of Health Sciences, Bangalore 560034, India.


There are far too many children in the world who suffer from under-nutrition and growth faltering, with life time consequences such as reduced work capacity, increased infections, impaired intellectual performance and an increased risk of non communicable diseases later in life. These changes occur early in life, and consequently, complementary feeding has been receiving increased attention in the international nutrition community. In India, common problems relate not only to insufficient breastfeeding, but also to detrimental feeding practices. Only about 20% of children aged 6-23 months were fed according to the three recommended Infant and Child Feeding practices. The most common types of solid or semi-solid foods fed to both breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding children under 3 years of age were foods made from grains and roots. These complementary feeding practices were found to be significantly associated with poor socioeconomic status, undesirable socio-cultural beliefs, maternal illiteracy, and ignorance. Although many initiatives have been carried out in India to promote Infant and Young Child Feeding, the progress in reducing the number of undernourished children in India over the last decade has been slow and modest. Equally, with the growing evidence and interest in the role of infant nutrition in the development of over nutrition and non-communicable disease, it is important to plan appropriate complementary feeding interventions that result in optimal growth. Contact opportunities with parents, specifically mothers, must be used for counseling through multiple communication channels such as local media, in order to constantly educate the population with consistent and simple messages on child feeding.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center