Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Discussion paper 146: moving forward with complementary feeding

Indicators and research priorities

Ruel, Marie T.; Brown, Kenneth H.; Caulfield, Laura E.; International Food Policy Research Institute

Publication details

Number of pages: 2
Publication date: 2003
Languages: English



The absence of valid and reliable indicators to assess complementary feeding practices has been a major impediment to assessing progress and stimulating action. Following the "Expert Consultation on Complementary Feeding (2001)", WHO commissioned this review to identify options for indicator development that could be used in large-scale, population based surveys.

Using the "Guiding Principles for Complementary Feeding of the Breastfed Child", the review concluded that indicators of dietary diversity and feeding frequency were most interesting to better assess complementary feeding. Following these conclusions, WHO and partners have pursued a series of validation studies that have led to the identification of new indicators in 2007.

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