Nutrition Month 2010 focuses on complementary feeding
Iloilo (15 July) -- The 36th Nutrition Month celebration focuses on the importance of giving appropriate complementary foods starting at six months while continuing breastfeeding.
Regional Nutrition Coordinator Nona Tad-y said appropriate giving of complementary foods and breastfeeding are two strategies of promoting health and preventing childhood malnutrition.
Tad-y said that malnutrition among very young children continues to be a major challenge in the country, as shown by the 7th National Nutrition Surveys, where 8.2 percent of infants, 25.4 percent of one-year olds, 31.8 percent of two-year olds, 37.9 percent of three-year olds, 34.4percent of four-year olds andcent of five-year olds were undernourished.
She said that mothers and caregivers should practice appropriate complementary feeding that must be given at six months when breastfeeding cannot fully provide needed nutrients at this age; must be nutritionally adequate in energy, protein and micronutrients, must be safe, and properly given, suitable to child's signals of appetite and at suitable age.
There are some common signs that a child is ready for complementary feeding, Tad-y said, like when a child holds his/her head straight when sitting down, opens his/her mouth when food approaches, is interested in food when others eat, receives frequent breastfeed but appears hungry soon after, and is not gaining weight adequately.
The recommended complementary foods, according to the nutritional guidelines, include Energy-giving foods (GO), Body-building foods (GROW), and Regulating foods (GLOW).
Tad-y further said that Nutrition Month Celebration activities should focus on these talking points about complementary feeding, in response to the theme: Sa Pagkaing tama at sapat, wastong timbang ni Baby and Katapat." (PIA/ESS) [top]