Complementary feeding is an effective strategy in reducing the levels of malnutrition among children aged 6-23 months. Little is known about the preparation and nutrient content of locally made complementary foods in Tanzania. This study was carried out with the aim of analysing nutrient content of the frequently used complementary foods for children of age 6 to 23 months. A cross-sectional study was conducted in three randomly selected villages in Rombo district, Kilimanjaro region, Tanzania. Information on the types of complementary foods was collected using semi-structured and 24-h dietary-recall questionnaires. Seven samples of frequently consumed complementary foods (banana, rice and maize-based porridges) were collected and analysed for proximate, vitamins and minerals composition. The results were as follows: Energy 317.98-379.23 kcal, vitamin A 81.32-971.05 µg RE, vitamin C 3.48-9.56 mg, iron 2.48-22.86 mg, zinc 0.92-9.57 mg, calcium 73.13-400.58 mg and iodine 10.18-200.93 µg/100 g dry-weights. Conclusively, the amount of vitamin C, iron, zinc, calcium and iodine of the frequently used complementary foods in the study area was low as compared to what is recommended by World Health Organization. It is important to develop recipes that may either fill or narrow this gap by using low-cost, locally available and culturally acceptable ingredients.
Key words: Complementary foods, nutrient content, energy, micronutrients, porridge.
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