Open Access Choice of foods and ingredients for moderately malnourished children 6 months to 5 years of age

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Abstract:

There is consensus on how to treat severe malnutrition, but there is no agreement on the most cost-effective way to treat infants and young children with moderate malnutrition who consume cereal-dominated diets. The aim of this review is to give an overview of the nutritional qualities of relevant foods and ingredients in relation to the nutritional needs of children with moderate malnutrition and to identify research needs. The following general aspects are covered: energy density, macronutrient content and quality, minerals and vitamins, bioactive substances, antinutritional factors, and food processing. The nutritional values of the main food groups—cereals, legumes, pulses, roots, vegetables, fruits, and animal foods—are discussed. The special beneficial qualities of animal-source foods, which contain high levels of minerals important for growth, high-quality protein, and no antinutrients or fibers, are emphasized. In cereal-dominated diets, the plant foods should be processed to reduce the contents of antinutrients and fibers. Provision of a high fat content to increase energy density is emphasized; however, the content of micronutrients should also be increased to maintain nutrient density. The source of fat should be selected to supply optimal amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), especially n-3 fatty acids. Among multiple research needs, the following are highlighted: to identify the minimum quantity of animal foods needed to support acceptable child growth and development, to examine the nutritional gains of reducing contents of antinutrients and fibers in cereal- and legume-based diets, and to examine the role of fat quality, especially PUFA content and ratios, in children with moderate malnutrition.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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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