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Infant Feeding in Developing Countries Term Paper


Infants require proper nutrition to enable them to develop their bodies physically mentally, and socially. Once a child is born, the first food the child needs is the mother’s milk. This implies that breastfeeding is greatly important to a newborn baby. During this tender age, the feeding procedure of the baby is very challenging to some people, mostly in developing countries (Lande et al. 2003). Optimal infant feeding involves initiatives that empower mothers to start breastfeeding the child starting from the first day continuously for the period between six months and two years. Mental nutrition is another important aspect to observe so that the infant and the mother’s nutritional status are safeguarded.

Apart from the mother’s milk, the child requires additional nutrients from different kinds of food after some time. During the winning period, the child is introduced to semi-solid foods that help to boost nutrient supply in the body. This prevents the nutritional status of the child. Children who fail to get proper nutrients in addition to the mothers’ milk experience greater problems during their life.

Studying this topic is of great importance to both men and women. This is because parents require to understand the nutritional requirements of their children as they develop into an adult. This topic is also important to health providers (Kersting et al. 2005). They have to offer proper advice to parents who have problems with the nutritional requirements of their young kids. Through proper implementation of better programs, the developing nations can realize a reduction in the death of children from poor nutrition (Black et al. 2004). Guiding and counseling groups can also play an important role in advising parents on how to feed their children once they are born. This research provides important information to the developing nations for readjusting their health and educational organization to include feeding programs, which can greatly reduce the rate of young children who die due to malnutrition.

I intend to look at several issues in this paper. First, I will summarize each of the three researches giving a brief description of their background information. Secondly, I will describe briefly how the studies were carried out and present major findings. I will also critically analyze the researches according to assumptions, methods, and interpretations of the articles (Engle & Menon, 2000).


Complimentary food for infancy

Gibson, Ferguson, and Lehrfeld carried out this research in developing nations with the view of assessing the nutrient and energy sufficiency in various complementary foods given to children during winning period. The research was based in different countries that are still developing. For example, it included countries like Malawi, Ghana Ethiopia, India, Papua New Guinea Thailand and Philippines. The investigators collected and selected recipes of complementary foods among the mentioned countries (Lande et al. 2003). Food and Nutrient Research Institute of Manila supplied the recipes from Philippines while Institute of Nutrition of Mahidol supplied the recipes from Thailand. The other recipes were taken from the literature. Ferguson and his friends compiled the food composition data that was used to compute the nutrients, anti-contents and energy per 100g together with molar ratios of every recipe. The researchers did not include food composition quantities of nianic since only a few of them had nianic contribution and performed niacin. Trace minerals, non-starch polysaccharides together with phytic acid came from staple foods of the above countries. The staple foods were not analyzed for vitamin A.

The research only used children of 9 to 11 months because children at this stage still receive some milk from their mothers. For other cereal-based guidelines, the content matter was computed for gruel made with both ten and twenty-eight percent dry matter. Lastly, the computed intake of nutrient and energy in one day was compared with the requirement needs of energy and nutrient from the complementary foods (Engle & Menon, 2000).

Infant and young children feeding in developing countries

Mandana Arabi and Nune’ mangasaryan who are employees of the United Children Funds with other people carried out this research. They worked closely with Edward A. Frongillo and Rasmi Avula who are employees of the University of South Carolina.

This research indicates that feeding techniques are important in determining growth and development of the child during the early stages. The research describes seven practices in twenty-eight countries using indicators of young children feeding together with complementary feeding rules (Black, et al. 2004). They indicate that there is a substantial disparity in all the countries. Only twenty-five percent of 0-5 months children were involved in exclusive breast-feeding. On the other hand, a half of six to eight month old got complementary foods in the previous day. By living in the high –HDI nations may fail to translate to desirable feeding programs. It is true in the research that there is a requirement for promotion, support and protection of best breastfeeding together with complementary feeding techniques. Additionally, it is better to adhere to all the recommendations regarding to feeding during the sick period. The table below indicates countries that the research was carried out in February this year.

Breast-feeding and feeding Practices of infants in a developing country: Lebanon.
Fig.1: Breast-feeding and feeding Practices of infants in a developing country: Lebanon.

This survey was carried out in a developing nation, which is Lebanon. The survey involved in identifying the importance of breastfeeding and the effect of introducing semisolid and solid foods to infants. Malek Batal, choghik Boulghoujian and Rima afifi engaged in this serious study to provide evidence on the underlying concerning breastfeeding in one of the developing nations. The main reason for this study was to clarify issues concerning breastfeeding in mothers who give birth in Lebanon (Engle & Menon, 2000). The research was carried out in mothers who gave birth in hospitals. The survey included the cross-sectional design for over ten months. The researchers observed that a good number of mothers started breast-feeding after a half an hour of giving birth while others started after a few hours and very few never breastfed their young ones. This information was collected from mothers across the country in health centers then the participants were sampled out to get real participants in the research. The research reveals that mothers reduce breastfeeding as the day count towards six and eight months (Engle & Menon, 2000).

Critical Analysis of the Articles

The article on Infant and young children feeding in developing countries did not consider countries that have low-HDI from some parts of Africa. It is possible that this aspect greatly affected the results. All countries with high or low –HDI should have been included in the study to find the best results. The research revealed that children with the age between six months and eight months are given some different solid and semisolid foods as they continue to breastfeed. According to the results, the study was not able to determine the quality of the complementary food that was given to the children. This brings a gap between the results and the research objectives (Engle & Menon, 2000). This is how feeding in children takes place in the young kids together with the environment that enable the children to eat some food. They include availability of the food or care-giving services that encourage children to eat which were not considered.

On the other hand, Malek Batal and his friend devoted themselves to providing extensive report on when mothers start breastfeeding. They came up with a design that enabled them get proper information. For instance, they used questionnaires to fill in important information. Additionally they implemented a proper strategy in getting the required members of the study. It is true from the research that they sampled out participants in different healthcares and engaged them in the research for ten good months (Dewey & Adu-Afarwuah, 2008). This reasonable time provided ample time for observation, assessment and determination of the results in Lebanon.

General Conclusion

Children born in developing nations face many challenges with regard to feeding. Some mothers willingly feed their newborn babies on breast milk. Others fail to breastfeed due to various challenges that they face. For instance, availability of food to developing nation for mothers and children is a challenge.

Complementary foods are important to a child since it provides other requirements by the body for proper growth. Mental development, physical development and social development requires that the child should receive nutrients from other sources apart from the mother’s milk. This does not rule out the benefits of the breast milk just after birth.

The research in this context forms a basis for setting up more research programs. The research programs will be able to get more problems that the child in a developing nation can be facing in feeding.


Black, et al. (2004). Longitudinalstudies of infectious diseases and physical growth of children in rural Bangladesh. Boston: Beacon Press.

Dewey, K., & Adu-Afarwuah, S. (2008). Systematicreview of the efficacy and effectiveness of complemen-tary feeding interventions in developing countries.Maternal and Child Nutrition. New York: Perennial Classics.

Engle, P. & Menon, P. (2000). Care and nutrition: Concepts and measurement. New York: World Development Body.

Kersting, et al. (2005). Measured consumption of commercial infant food products in German infants: results from the DONALD study. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, 100, 200-2.

Lande, et al. (2003). Infant feeding practices and associated factors in the first six months of life. London: Acta Paediatrica.

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IvyPanda. (2020, September 26). Infant Feeding in Developing Countries. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/infant-feeding-in-developing-countries/

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"Infant Feeding in Developing Countries." IvyPanda, 26 Sept. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/infant-feeding-in-developing-countries/.

1. IvyPanda. "Infant Feeding in Developing Countries." September 26, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/infant-feeding-in-developing-countries/.


IvyPanda. "Infant Feeding in Developing Countries." September 26, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/infant-feeding-in-developing-countries/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Infant Feeding in Developing Countries." September 26, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/infant-feeding-in-developing-countries/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Infant Feeding in Developing Countries'. 26 September.

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