A highly nutritive supplementary food: Improving the nutritional status of pregnant and lactating mothers


*Corresponding author
1. Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST), Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Researc (BCSIR),  Dr. Qudrat-I-Khuda Road, Dhanmondi, Dhaka 1205, Bangladesh
2. Department of Applied Nutrition and Food Technology,  Islamic University, Kushtia 7003, Bangladesh


The nutrition situation of women is a considerable issue in Bangladesh. A highly nutritive supplementary food containing locally available food resource was prepared to meet the increased nutrient demands of pregnant and lactating mothers in Bangladesh. The supplementary food was developed mainly from wheat, soy flour, milk and carrot. The prepared food was analysed for the nutritional properties, protein efficiency ratio, microbiological quality and sensory attributes. All macro and micronutrients were within the ranges recommended by the Institute of Medicine and would fulfil the extra needs of the nutrients per day for pregnant and lactating mothers. The prepared supplementary food was observed satisfactory according to microbiological status, rat growth study and organoleptic evaluation. The developed ready-to- eat food could be served in the form of porridge with drinking water. The developed supplementary food was considerably more nutritious and cheap than the commercial supplementary foods available in Bangladesh and can help to reduce the level of maternal malnutrition.


Pregnancy and breastfeeding are the most nutrient demanding periods of women’s life. During pregnancy and lactation, the maternal nutritional status is not only important for the health of the mother but also closely linked to the well being of the child. A high proportion of low birth weight is an outcome largely attributed to maternal malnutrition. Malnutrition among women is widely prevalent in Bangladesh (1). Approximately 38% of young mothers aged 15-19 years suffer from malnutrition (Body Mass Index<18.5). The prevalence of iron deficiency anaemia and iodine deficiency among pregnant women is 40% and 56% respectively (2). It has reported in 2011 that the maternal mortality ratio of Bangladesh was 194 deaths per 100,000 live births (3). Malnutrition is a significant contributor to complicated pregnancies and high maternal mortality rate. Inadequate intake of food and poor diet are the primary causes of malnutrition (4). A study in rural Bangladesh has found that pregnant and lactating women consume only 1464 kcal/day during 5 to 7 months of pregnancy (5). This low energy intake meets only 53% of the daily energy requirement (276 ...