Infant and young child feeding in the Peruvian Amazon: the need to promote exclusive breastfeeding and nutrient-dense traditional complementary foods.Matern Child Nutr. 2011 Jul; 7(3):284-94.MC
The study objective was to understand the role of traditional Awajún foods in dietary quality and the potential impacts on growth of Awajún infants and young children 0-23 months of age. Research took place in April and May of 2004, along the Cenepa River in six Awajún communities. Anthropometry estimated nutritional status for 32 infants (0-23 months). Repeat dietary recalls and infant feeding histories were completed with 32 mothers. Adequacy of the complementary foods was compared with World Health Organization guidelines. Anthropometry indicated a high prevalence of stunting (39.4% of infants and young children), with nutritional status declining with age. Half of the Awajún mothers practised exclusive breastfeeding. Dietary recalls and infant food histories suggested that many of the infants were getting adequate nutrition from complementary foods and breastfeeding; however, there was variation in breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices among the mothers. Complementary feeding for young children 12-23 months generally met nutrient recommendations, but mean intakes for iron, zinc, calcium and vitamin A were inadequate in infants 6-11 months. Traditional foods provided 85% of energy and were more nutrient dense than market foods. Appropriate infant and complementary feeding was found among some women; however, given the range of feeding practices and introduction of market foods, health promotion targeting infant and young child feeding is warranted.