User Friendly Software to Design Low Cost Complementary Feeding
Complementary feeding of older infants and young children continues to present a real challenge to field workers. Practical questions typically faced in the field by nutritionists working in developing countries include:
- Is it possible with locally available food to provide all nutrients needed by a young child?
- What quantity of nutrient rich foods are needed to provide all micronutrients?
- If this is possible, how much will it cost?
- What food combination is best adapted to provide all needed nutrients at the lowest cost?
- Are micronutrient supplements or fortified foods useful to feed a child a balanced diet at low cost?
Now, adapting local foods to meet nutrient needs can be aided by a mathematical tool, linear programming. The user-friendly programme (Linear Programming Module of Nutrisurvey) can be download at http://www.nutrisurvey.de/lp/lp.htm and allows you to design diets compatible with local food habits and fulfilling different sets of nutritional recommendations, at the lowest possible cost. Nutritional recommendations incorporated are defined for the following age groups: 6-8 months, 9-11 months, and 12-23 months.
For further information, contact André Briend, Medical Officer, Department of Child & Adolescence Health and Development, World Health Organization, Genèva, Switzerland, email:firstname.lastname@example.org or Juergen Erhardt, SEAMEO-TROPMED, University of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia email: email@example.com
Taken from Field Exchange Issue 26, November 2005