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Eur J Clin Nutr. 1998 Oct;52(10):764-70.

Complementary foods for infant feeding in developing countries: their nutrient adequacy and improvement.

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  • 1Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the energy and nutrient adequacy of a variety of complementary foods used in parts of Africa, India, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Thailand.

METHOD:

The energy, nutrient and anti-nutrient (dietary fibre and phytic acid) content (per 100 g as eaten, per 100 kcal, and per day) of twenty-three plant-based complementary foods consumed in developing countries was calculated from food composition values based on chemical analysis for the trace minerals, non-starch polysaccharide and phytic acid, and the literature. Results were compared with the estimated nutrient needs (per day; per 100 kcal) from complementary foods for infants 9-11 months, assuming a breast milk intake of average volume and composition and three complementary feedings per day, each of 250 g.

RESULTS:

Complementary foods should provide approximately 25-50% of total daily requirements for protein, riboflavin and copper; 50-75% for thiamin, calcium and manganese; and 75-100% for phosphorus, zinc and iron. Most or all appear to meet the estimated daily nutrient needs (per day; per 100 kcal) from complementary foods for protein, thiamin and copper (per day), but not for calcium, iron, and in some cases zinc, even if moderate bioavailability for iron and zinc is assumed. Some of those based on rice are also inadequate in riboflavin (per day; per 100 kcal).

CONCLUSIONS:

Even if strategies to improve the bioavailability of iron and zinc are employed, they are probably insufficient to overcome the deficits in calcium, iron and zinc. Therefore, research on the feasibility of fortifying plant-based complementary foods in developing countries with calcium, iron and zinc is urgently required.

PIP:

At about age 6 months, the supply of energy and some nutrients from breast milk no longer fully meets an infant's nutritional needs. Complementary foods must therefore be provided. In many developing countries, cereals or starchy roots and tubers are used as a basis for such additional foods. Findings are presented from a study conducted to assess the energy and nutrient adequacy of a variety of complementary foods used in parts of Africa, India, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and Thailand. The energy, nutrient, and anti-nutrient content of 23 plant-based complementary foods consumed in developing countries was calculated from food composition values based upon chemical analysis for trace minerals, non-starch polysaccharide and phytic acid, and the literature. Results were compared with the estimated nutrient needs from complementary foods for infants aged 9-11 months, assuming a breast milk intake of average volume and composition and 3 complementary feedings per day, each of 250 g. Complementary foods should provide approximately 25-50% of total daily requirements for protein, riboflavin, and copper; 50-75% for thiamin, calcium, and manganese; and 75-100% for phosphorous, zinc, and iron. While most or all of the foods appear to meet the estimated daily nutrient requirements of complementary foods for protein, thiamin, and copper, they do not for calcium, iron, and, in some cases, zinc, even if moderate bioavailability for iron and zinc is assumed. Some of the foods based upon rice are also inadequate in riboflavin.

PMID:
9805226
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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