Although complementary feeding practices in Bangladesh have improved in recent years, only 23% of infants are fed according to national guidelines and 40% of complementary feeds are contaminated with Escherichia coli, primarily attributed to faulty food-preparing practices. This leads to increased incidences of diarrhoea and malnutrition. One third of children in Bangladesh below the age of 5 are stunted or underweight.
Prof T.Ahmed presented on the development and testing of a ready-to-use complementary food derived from locally available food ingredients. The ingredients were selected based on availability, accessibility, cost, sustainability and ability to fulfil 70% of the micronutrient requirements of children aged 6–18 months. Acceptability tests revealed that children liked the new recipes. A large trial was conducted in rural Bangladesh to test the efficacy of this daily, complementary food supplement and found that it was associated with reduced linear growth deceleration and decreased prevalence of stunting.