DOST’s anti-malnutrition foods reach Bicol kids

by Danny O. Calleja

Local government units (LGUs) and child welfare agencies, both public and private, in Bicol can now avail of the technology on complementary foods for use in feeding programs for malnourished children.

Developed by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through its Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), the technology recently introduced to Bicolanos involves a package of nutrition interventions aimed at reducing incidences of malnutrition among kids.

The agency came up with this development dubbed Package for the Improvement of Nutrition of Young Children (PINOY C) as it endeavors to reduce the prevalence of underweight among six to 35 months old children by feeding them nutritious complementary food blends for a span of 120 days, Tomas Briñas, the DOST regional director for Bicol, said here on Tuesday.

The food blends, he said, are ready to cook rice-mongo sesame and rice-mongo instant baby food that are both mixture of locally available rice and mongo that make them rich in protein and energy needed
by children ages six months to three years of age.

The rice-mongo baby food blend is an instant food preparation rich in protein and energy processed using the extrusion cooking method to contain 120 kilocalories (kcal) and four grams protein per 30 grams serving.

This formulation, Briñas said, is enough to meet 17 percent of recommended energy and nutrient intake (RENI) for children aged six to 12 months and 29 percent of recommended protein intake for children of the same age.

It contains 140 calories (19 percent RENI) and four grams of protein (19.4 percent RENI) for children aged six to 12 months.

Study shows that mongo or mungbean (Vigna radiata), which is mainly used as human food, is one of the cheapest sources of plant protein which contains at least 27-percent protein and a good source of
minerals such as calcium and sodium.

Dried mongo bean seeds are high in vitamins A and B while the sprouted ones are rich in vitamins B and C while rice, on the other hand, is the staple food serving the predominant dietary energy source for Filipinos.
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