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Complementary foods in developing countries : importance, required characteristics, constraints and potential strategies for improvement

Authors
Publication Date
Keywords
  • Malnutrition Proteinoenergetique
  • Nourrisson
  • Enfant D'Age Prescolaire
  • Complement Alimentaire
  • Farine
  • Nutriment
  • Consommation Alimentaire
  • Densite Energetique
  • Cereale
  • Formulation
  • Production
  • Amylase
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Medicine

Abstract

Complementary foods in developing countries : importance, required characteristics, constraints and potential strategies for improvement COMPLEMENTARY FOODS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: IMPORTANCE, REQUIRED CHARACTERISTICS, CONSTRAINTS AND POTENTIAL STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVEMENT Serge Treche1 Introduction In most contexts of developing countries, malnutrition and growth failure appear at the age of about 6 months and prevalence of stunting reaches a maximum before 24 months of age (1). This coincides with the weaning period. which is the time period when different kinds of foods are successively introduced to complement breastmilk. In regard to the simultaneity of the apparition of protein energy malnutlition and of the introduction of complementary foods. it appears that there are probably strong relationships between malnutrition and complementary foods. They can be either directly related because inadequate complementary food intakes or nutritional value leads to insufficient energy or micronutrient absorption or indirectly related since the early introduction of complementary foods often reduces breastmilk intakes and can cause food borne diseases (i.e., diarrhoea. parasitic infections) (2) or reduce the micronutrient bio-availability of the whole diet. Complementary foods can de defined as any liqUid or solid nutrient-containing foods given to young children in addition to breastmilk (1). In most contexts of developing countries. the first complementary foods consist in special transitional foods like gruels generally prepared from blends of flours or from fermented cereal doughs. As total energy and nutrient intakes of infant is the sum of energy and nutrient intakes from breastmilk and from complementary foods. the adequacy of the characteristics of these special transitional foods to the nutlitional requirements and physiological or anatomical constraints of infants appears to be one of the necessary conditions of sufficient dietary intake. therefore of normal growth. 1

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