Complementary Feeding of Young Children in Developing Countries
A Review of Current Scientific Knowledge(WHO/NUT/98.1)
Document produced by the WHO Division of Nutrition
Technical Units
Order Number    19300141   
Price    CHF    35.00 / US$    42.00 Developing countries:    CHF    24.50
English     1998        237   pages
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Summary
This book provides a state-of-the-art review of what is known about the nutritional needs of young children and the specific feeding practices - from the best time to introduce complementary foods to the preparation of appropriate meals - that contribute to optimal nutritional status and healthy growth and development. Addressed to researchers as well as health professionals, the book responds to several advances in scientific knowledge that either confirm current recommendations for complementary feeding or call for changes. Practical implications for intervention programmes are also considered in detail. Although recommendations and advice have universal relevance, particular attention is given to the needs of children in low-income settings and to feeding practices that can be implemented by caregivers in the developing world. Findings from over 500 recent studies are critically assessed in this thorough, expert review.
The book has nine chapters. The first provides an overview of new findings - and continuing controversies - that influence such important issues as the optimal age for introducing complementary foods, the selection of an appropriate age group for targeted interventions, and the relative importance of various factors known to limit growth. Knowledge about the maturation of physiological processes relevant to child feeding is also briefly reviewed. Chapter two discusses the importance of breast-feeding in child-feeding regimens and addresses key questions concerning the duration of breast-feeding and the appropriate age for introducing complementary foods.
Against this background, chapter three provides a broad range of technical information on different aspects of complementary feeding, including the energy required from complementary foods at different ages, appropriate feeding frequency, the energy density of complementary foods, and the importance of their organoleptic characteristics as determinants of intake. Chapter four provides similarly detailed information concerning the protein and micronutrients required from complementary foods.
Since nutritional status is influenced by behaviours surrounding feeding as well as the nutritional content of foods, subsequent chapters review studies of caregiver feeding behaviours in developing countries and discuss food processing procedures - from commercial approaches to simple measures in the home - that help ensure the quality and safety of complementary foods. Chapter seven, which briefly reviews global data on child-feeding practices, is followed by an overview of recent intervention programmes, an evaluation of their impact, and a discussion of factors contributing to success. The final chapter provides a succinct summary of conclusions and recommendations for appropriate child feeding.