Nutrient composition of commonly used complementary foods in North western Nigeria
Studies on the nutrient composition of commonly used complementary foods in North Western Nigeria were carried out using Kaduna, Kebbi and Niger states as case studies. Ready to eat complementary food samples were collected from mothers with children older than 6 months but younger than 24 months and evaluated for its nutrient components using standard procedures. Results obtained showed that guinea corn and millet paps were the first foods introduced to children in the zone. The ash content ranged from 0.63±0.01 to 1.21±0.20 g/100 g with the crude protein ranging from 1.38±0.30 to 3.15±0.01 g/100 g and crude fat 0.07±0.01 to 2.56±0.06 g/100 g. Levels of lysine (1.55 to 3.11 g/100 g protein) and methionine (0.70 to 1.15 g/100 g protein) were below the international reference values of 4.2 and 2.2 for lysine and methionine, respectively. Zinc content ranged from 4.16 to 7.47 mg/100 g and iron content was between 17.82 and 33.88 mg/100 g. Phytates (0.04±0.01 to 0.12±0.02 mg/100 g), tannins (12.95±5.79 to 56.54±11.59 mg/100 g) and free cyanide (0.05±0.01 to 0.74±0.04 mg/100 g) levels in the commonly used complementary foods were low. There is low protein intake by children in the zone since their diet is mainly based on cereal with no other supplementation.