Complementary Feeding - Family Foods for Breastfed Children
Document produced by the WHO Department of Nutrition for Health Development
Technical Units
Order Number    19300177 Format    Paper Back
Price    CHF    11.00 / US$    13.20 Developing countries:    CHF    7.70
English     2000        52   pages
Table of contents
Related Publications
Translation(s) available
A practical guide to the introduction of complementary foods into the diets of breastfed children aged 6 to 24 months. Addressed to health workers in developing countries, the book translates the latest scientific knowledge into clear and simple messages suitable for use when counselling families and communities. Major emphasis is placed on the preparation of foods, based on the local staple, that are clean, safe, and nutritionally adequate for healthy growth and development.
The book deals with the period when a child continues to receive breast milk but also needs increasing amounts of other foods before graduating to the usual family diet. It shows that breast milk can continue to be an important source of nutrients until a child is at least two years old and how mixtures of family foods can meet children's nutritional needs during this vulnerable period. Information ranges from diagrams showing the energy, protein, and micronutrient needs of young children, through discussion of the nutrient value of common foods, to recipes for preparing nutritionally adequate meals based on the local staple.
Although major emphasis is placed on the messages that need to be conveyed to families, the book also helps health workers understand the underlying evidence that supports recommended practices. Particular attention is given to common misconceptions - such as the need to prepare thin porridges or withhold food during illness - that may need to be addressed in counselling sessions.
Using a question-and-answer approach, the book explains when to start complementary feeding, what to give, how much, and how often. Readers also learn how to encourage children to eat enough, how to keep food clean and safe, and how to feed sick children.
All recommendations and advice draw on the results of recent research on young child feeding, growth, and childhood illness, including diarrhoea. These studies are reviewed in a companion volume from WHO, Complementary Feeding of Young Children in Developing Countries.
"... Educators and researchers in the area of nutrition for young children will find this review a wonderful reference to have on their shelf. Although the focus is on developing nations, the thorough review and clear presentation of information make this an exceptional reference material document..."
- Journal of Human Lactation

"... Anyone involved with the scientific and programmatic aspects of complementary feeding will find this review useful..."
- Food and Nutrition Bulletin