Ready-to-Use Foods (RUFs) in the form of fortified cereal/nut/legume-based biscuits (±500 kcal and 8-10% protein per 100 g) were tested among mildly wasted children from October 2007 to June 2008, and were labelled as RUF-Nias biscuits. This study reports on a comparison of supplementary feeding program outcomes of mildly wasted children with weight-for-height z-score (WHZ) >=-2 to <-1.5 SD aged >=6 to <60 months old given locally produced RUF-Nias biscuits within daily (in semi-urban areas) and weekly (in rural remote regions) distribution and supervision program settings. In the Church World Service project area, all eligible children were recruited continuously from monthly community-based screening programs and admitted into existing nutrition centers managed by the community on Nias Island, Indonesia. Individual discharge criterion of the programs was WHZ >=-1.5 SD. Of the index children admitted in daily programs (n=51), 80.4% reached target WHZ, which was higher than in weekly programs (72.9%; n=48) by a similar length of stay of about 6 weeks. Weight gain of the children in daily programs was higher (3.1±3.6 g/kg body weight/day) than in weekly programs (2.0±2.1 g/kg body weight/day), and they achieved significantly higher WHZ at discharge. However, the majority of caretakers preferred weekly programs due to lower time constraints. Locally produced RUF in the form of biscuits for treatment of mild wasting among children demonstrated promising results both in daily and weekly community-based intervention programs.
- ready-to-use foods,
- supplementary feeding,
- mildly wasted children,
- weight gain
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