Lindi region has high stunting prevalence of about 35%, and one of the factors that cause stunting is inadequate intake of micronutrients for children under 2 years old. This study aimed at assessing contribution of fish in improving micronutrients, specifically vitamin A, zinc and iron contents in complementary foods for children aged 6 to 23 months old children in Lindi Rural District. A cross-sectional study was done; interviews were conducted on 212 caregivers with children aged 6 to 23 months at Mchinga Ward. Information collected includes demographic information and commonly consumed complementary foods for targeted children through the use of 24 h dietary recall. Also, laboratory analysis for zinc, iron, vitamin A contents and proximate composition were done for commonly consumed foods. About 89.2% of children were given fish-based complementary foods. On average, fish-based complementary foods had higher vitamin A concentrations (279 µg RE/100 g serving) compared to non-fish-based complementary foods (4 µg RE/100 g serving), but low in iron and zinc concentrations (0.66 and 0.067 mg/100 g serving, respectively) than non-fish-based complementary foods (0.74 and 0.074 mg/100 g serving respectively). Furthermore, fish-based complementary foods had higher proximate composition (except for % moisture content) compared to non-fish-based complementary foods.
Key words: Lindi, fish, complementary foods, children, micronutrients.
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