To analyze nutrient content of local foods in Western Kenya and assess the impact of menu provision on the nutrition status of children.
Caregivers were interviewed to identify the types of food commonly consumed and a market survey was conducted to assess food availability and affordability. Five menus were developed and the nutrient content was analyzed with reference to WHO Dietary requirements. Caregivers with children were provided with local food menus and followed up to assess utilization and obtain feedback. Children were followed up for a period of 12 months for their growth through monthly growth monitoring and promotion.
The mean calorie, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron and zinc obtained from the five menus was 779.7kcal, 32.6gm, 360mcg, 18.8mg, 8mg and 4.2mg respectively. All menus met the calorie requirement of 600-800kcal, four of the five menus adhered to the 25-27gm protein requirement, three of them met 300mcg REA vitamin A & 15-25 mg Vitamin C requirement. Only two of the five menus met the 3 – 5 mg of zinc requirement while none of them met 10mg iron. Analysis of the food items showed except small fish there was no flesh foods. By the end of 12 months among children participating in the program underweight prevalence reduced from 47.3% to 17.4%.
Local foods met most nutrient requirements of children. However, meeting iron and zinc requirements remains a challenge.