Open Access Potential role of processed complementary foods in the improvement of early childhood nutrition in Latin America

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Processed complementary foods have the potential to play an important role in the diets of infants and toddlers in Latin America. Both feeding frequency and nutrient density need to be considered when formulating recommendations on appropriate feeding practices and composition of processed foods. Unfortunately, empirical data are not yet available on the relationships among feeding practices, feeding frequency, energy density, energy intake, and intake from breastmilk that would permit appropriate public health recommendations to be made. Analyses of nutrient requirements and the nutrient contents of typical toddler foods show that it is virtually impossible to satisfy iron requirements without fortification unless there is a substantial intake of animal products. Zinc and calcium have also been identified as problem nutrients. The optimal characteristics of processed complementary foods include adequate energy density, appropriate micronutrient:energy ratios, suitably low renal solute load, appropriate viscosity for age, desirable sensory properties, resistance to microbial contamination, simple preparation techniques, and low cost.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2000

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106

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