In the present study, duplicate diets (four-day survey) of 28 Ethiopian children were analysed for iron, zinc and iodine. The mothers of the children filled out a food frequency questionnaire describing general intake of local food ingredients. The average daily intake of zinc was found to be 5.7 ± 5.2 mg, while the daily intake of iron and iodine was 52 ± 43 mg and 0.13 ± 0.10 mg, respectively. Most of the investigated children had an adequate nutrient intake of zinc and iodine, while the intake of iron was high compared to international recommendations. There was a great individual variation in intake of these trace elements, and even though the mean and median values were above or in the range of the requirement, some children had a too low intake of zinc and iodine. The iron intake varied the most, and was generally high. The diet was cereal based and contained little fruit and food of animal origin which may reduce the availability of iron and zinc.
Key words: Trace elements, nutrition, low-income, Africa, enjera, teff, cereals, iron, zinc, iodine intake, Ethiopian children.
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