Snack food consumption is an avenue for the young children of the world to meet their daily nutrient requirements. In recent times, biscuits and cakes prepared from a cocktail of grain and root crops have gained much popularity due to the versatile nature and nutritional quality of their composite flours. Flour samples prepared from broken rice fractions, soybeans, and orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) were used to develop appropriate formulations with wheat flour to obtain a final blend composition of 60% wheat flour, 10% rice flour, 15% OFSP and 15% soybean flour, aimed at achieving fairly high nutrient contributions in the blends with regards to protein, vitamin A, iron and zinc without necessarily sacrificing the potential aesthetic, functional and sensory characteristics of the final products. The final blend obtained was used for the preparation of cake bread and biscuit snack foods for young children aged 2 to 6 years old. The products were evaluated for their physicochemical and sensory properties as well as their possible contribution to Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs). Significant improvements in the protein, vitamin A, zinc and iron contents were achieved with the composite blends for both products. Consumer acceptability of the products was also appreciably high. At a moderate daily consumption rate of two 1-cm slices of the cake bread (approximately 54.0 g) or two pieces of biscuit (approximately 44.0 g), children aged 2 to 3 years will satisfy over 30, 110, 20 and 8% of their RDAs for protein, vitamin A, iron and zinc, respectively. Older children who can consume more than the amounts stipulated above could have greater percentages of their RDA satisfied. Effective promotion of the production and consumption of such products is required to help improve micronutrient consumption by young children.
Key words: Biscuit, cake bread, children, complementary snacks, micronutrient, Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs).
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