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Nutrients 2014, 6(1), 276-288; doi:10.3390/nu6010276

Introducing Solid Foods to Infants in the Asia Pacific Region

*  and
School of Public Health and Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, GPO Box U1987 Perth, Western Australia 6845, Australia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 November 2013 / Revised: 20 December 2013 / Accepted: 24 December 2013 / Published: 6 January 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Paediatric Nutrition)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [224 KB, 7 January 2014; original version 6 January 2014]


For infants’ optimal growth and development, the introduction of nutritionally suitable solid foods at the appropriate time is essential. However, less attention has been paid to this stage of infant life when compared with studies on breastfeeding initiation and duration. The practice of introducing solid foods, including the types of foods given to infants, in the Asia Pacific region was reviewed. In total nine studies using the same questionnaire on infant feeding practices were analysed to gain a better understanding of trends in the introduction of solid foods in this region. All studies showed less than optimal duration of exclusive breastfeeding indicating an earlier time of introduction of solid foods than recommended by the WHO. Most mothers commonly used rice or rice products as the first feed. In many studies, the timing of introducing solid foods was associated with breastfeeding duration. Compared with the Recommended Nutrient Intakes for infants aged above six months, rice/rice products are of lower energy density and have insufficient micronutrients unless they have been fortified. Although the timing of introducing solid foods to infants is important in terms of preventing later health problems, the quality of the foods should also be considered. Recommendations to improve the introduction of solid foods include measures to discourage prelacteal feeding, facilitating breastfeeding education and providing better information on healthier food choices for infants.
Keywords: complementary foods; infants; Asia pacific region; infant feeding practices complementary foods; infants; Asia pacific region; infant feeding practices
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Inoue, M.; Binns, C.W. Introducing Solid Foods to Infants in the Asia Pacific Region. Nutrients 2014, 6, 276-288.

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