Mineral content of complementary foods

Rati Jani, S. A. Udipi, P. S. Ghugre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To document mineral contents iron, zinc, calcium, energy contents and nutrient densities in complementary foods commonly given to young urban slum children. Methods: Information on dietary intake was collected from 892 mothers of children aged13-24 months, using 24 hour dietary recall and standardized measures. Three variations of 27 most commonly prepared recipes were analyzed and their energy (Kcal/g) and nutrient densities (mg/100Kcal) were calculated. Results: Considerable variations were observed in preparation of all items fed to the children. Cereal-based items predominated their diets with only small amount of vegetables/fruits. Fenugreek was the only leafy vegetable included, but was given to only 1-2% of children. Iron, calcium, zinc contents of staple complementary foods ranged from: 0.33mg to 3.73 mg, 4mg to 64 mg, and 0.35mg to 2.99 mg/100 respectively. Recipes diluted with less water and containing vegetables, spices had higher mineral content. Minerals densities were higher for dals, fenugreek vegetable, khichdi and chapatti. Using the median amounts of the various recipes fed to children, intakes of all nutrients examined especially calcium and iron was low. Conclusion: There is an urgent need to educate mothers about consistency, dilution, quantity, frequency, method of preparation, inclusion of micronutrient-rich foods, energy-dense complementary foods and gender equality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-44
Number of pages8
JournalIndian Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2009
Externally publishedYes


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