Indicators for Assessing Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices

December 8, 2008

Infants and young children are most vulnerable to malnutrition in the first two years of life. Global indicators tracking progress in promoting exclusive breastfeeding for infants 0-6 months are available; they have been very powerful tools for monitoring, programming, and advocacy. But many children falter and become malnourished after 6 months, once mothers begin the process of weaning them to poor-quality family foods. Until now, we have lacked global indicators to assess the quality of feeding during the critical 6-23 month window of opportunity for preventing malnutrition. The new Infant and Young Child Feeding indicators provide the first global tools for assessing and tracking progress during this critical window.

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