Consumption pattern and contribution of zinc and antioxidant vitamins A and C ric foods to the mean daily nutrient intake of 2-5 year old children in two rural towns in Nigeria
This study was carried out to assess the consumption pattern and contribution of zinc and antioxidant vitamins A and C-rich foods to the mean daily nutrient intake of 2 – 5 year old children, in two rural towns in Anambra state, Nigeria. Questionnaire and 3 – day weighed food intake methods were used. Questionnaires were administered to 192 mothers/caregivers of the 192 randomly selected children. A sub-sample of 20 children were randomly selected for the 3 – day weighed food intake study. All the respondents were Christians by religion and major occupations of the heads of households were trading and/or farming. Majority of the households (53.3%) were of low income group. Their fruit consumption pattern ranged from 30% (velvet tamarind) to 74% (mangoes) on any given day especially when in season. Also 65.1%, 70.8%, 13% of the children took dark green vegetables, dried fish, and breast milk, on any given day, respectively. Rice contributed highest to their daily energy, carbohydrate and niacin intake while beans contributed highest to their protein, calcium, iron and thiamin daily intake. Fruits and vegetables contributed 0.95% to 23% and 14% to 22% of the total mean daily ascorbic acid intake of the 2 – 3 year old and 4 – 5 year old children, respectively. Generally, the children had poor consumption of animal foods whose nutrients like zinc are more bioavailable. Improved agricultural production for more income to the farmers, dietary diversification and fortification together with intensified nutrition education will help to improve nutrient intake of the 2 – 5 year old children in the study area.
Agro-Science Vol. 6 (2) 2007: pp. 39-47