To develop and test food based recommendations (FBRs) that include zinc fortified water for children aged between 4 and 6 years from rural Kenya to achieve the best possible nutrient adequacy.
Dietary intakes of 60 children aged 4-6 years, from Kisumu district, Western Kenya, were assessed using a quantitative multi-pass 24-hour recall. Linear programming model parameters were derived, including a list of foods consumed, median serving sizes and distribution of frequency of consumption. By using the Optifood linear programming tool, food based recommendations (FBRs) with nutrient levels achieving =70%RNI of the WHO/FAO recommended nutrient intake (RNI) for most of the 12 considered nutrients were selected as the final recommendations for the children.
With no FBRs and no zinc fortified water percent RNI coverage range was between 40 and 76% for zinc, improving to 66-101% after introduction of zinc fortified water. The final set of FBRs achieved nutrient adequacy for all nutrients except for vitamin A (25%RNI) and folate (68%RNI).
Introduction of zinc fortified water combined with FBRs will likely improve the nutrient adequacy, but need to be complemented with alternative interventions to ensure dietary adequacy. Optifood is a useful tool to assess the extent to which introduction of a single nutrient intervention plus additional FBRs can contribute to nutrient adequacy of the diet