Complementary Feeding: Guidelines vs. Practice

Speaker: M. Makrides Presented at: 2016 NNIW87


From age 6–23 months, infants will start to receive a diet of breast milk complemented with food from other sources. During this major transition phase, infants go through numerous developmental milestones and rapid growth. Using complementary feeding guidelines from different countries and studies on the use of complementary foods in breastfed infants, Prof Makrides presented an overview of the types of solid foods that should be introduced, as well as when and how they should be introduced, with consideration of nutritional, cultural and development intricacies. Other common themes in the guidelines were continuing breastfeeding, opting for nutrient-dense complementary foods, hygienic food practices, developing feeding skills and fostering long-term eating habits, and preventing non-communicable diseases. In addition, evidence on the effect of the timing of umbilical cord clamping on neonatal outcomes suggest the importance of interventions that improve micronutrient stores of all infants from birth.