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COMPLEMENTARY FEEDING AND ITS IMPORTANCE FOR GROWING INFANTS

Mrs Mathanghi, S K* and Hemalatha, G.,**
*Assistant Professor, Faculty of Food Sciences
Institute of Food and Dairy Technology, Koduvalli
Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University
Chennai-600052, Tamil Nadu
**Home Science College and Research Institute
Tamil Nadu Agricultural University
Madurai – 625 104, Tamil Nadu

International Journal of Family and Home Science Vol.8 (2) (July - Dec, 2012) (127 - 143)

Abstract

For the growing infants after 6 months of age breast milk is no longer enough to meet the nutritional needs of the infant, and hence complementary foods should be added to the diet of the child. The transition from exclusive breastfeeding to family foods, referred to as complementary feeding, typically covers the period from 6 to 18-24 months of age, and is a very vulnerable period. It is the time when malnutrition starts in many infants, contributing significantly to the high prevalence of malnutrition in children under five years of age world-wide. WHO estimates that 2 out of 5 children are stunted in low-income countries. So in this review the importance of complementary feeding and its nutritional benefits were discussed.

Key words : feeding for infants, complementary feeding, infants, toddlers

Introduction

When breast milk is no longer enough to meet the nutritional needs of the infant, complementary foods should be added to the diet of the child. The transition from exclusive breastfeeding to family foods, referred to as complementary feeding, typically covers the period from 6 to 18-24 months of age, and is a very vulnerable period. It is the time when malnutrition starts in many infants, contributing significantly to the high prevalence of malnutrition in children under five years of age world-wide. WHO estimates that 2 out of 5 children are stunted in low-income countries.

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