Submitted to: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: March 7, 2012
Publication Date: April 1, 2012
Citation: Allen, L.H. 2012. Adequacy of family foods for complementary feeding. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 45, No. 4, 785-86.
The WHO recommends that complementary foods be introduced to all infants at age 6 mo and that breastfeeding be continued until age 18–24 mo. Beginning at age 6 mo, complementary foods should be pureed, mashed, or semisolid, but by age 12 mo the child should be able to eat solid foods that are consumed by the rest of the family. Meat, poultry, fish, or eggs should be included as often as possible (1). The conclusion from the modeling exercise was that the family food pattern would supply adequate amounts of protein, B vitamins [vitamins B-1 (thiamine), B-2 (riboflavin), B-6, and B-12], and vitamin C. There were substantial shortfalls for iron, zinc, and calcium as there usually are for young children consuming complementary foods. Family foods would not meet the critical density for vitamin A, vitamin B-6, or folate for girls who are growing at the 15th percentile; with the assumption that their energy requirements are lower but other nutrient requirements are normal, the nutrient density of their complementary foods needs to be higher.