Dietary Strategies for Complementary Feeding between 6 and 24 Months of Age: The Evidence

Leila Harrison, Zahra Padhani, Rehana Salam, Christina Oh, Komal Rahim, Maria Maqsood, Anna Ali, Kimberly Charbonneau, Emily C. Keats, Zohra S. Lassi, Aamer Imdad, Aatekah Owais, Jai Das, Zulfiqar A. Bhutta

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Suboptimal complementary feeding practices remain highly prevent. This review aims to comprehensively synthesize new emerging evidence on a set of topics related to the selection and consumption of complementary foods. We synthesized evidence related to five key topics focused on nutritional interventions that target the complementary feeding period, based on four systematic reviews that include updated evidence to February 2022. While there have been many studies examining interventions during the complementary feeding period, there is an overall lack of relevant information through which to draw conclusions on the ideal feeding schedule by food type. Similarly, few studies have examined the effects of animal milk versus infant formula for non-breastfed infants (6–11 months), though those that did found a greater risk of anemia among infants who were provided cow’s milk. This review highlights a number of interventions that are successful at improving micronutrient status and anthropometry during the complementary feeding period, including fortified blended foods, locally and commercially produced supplementary foods, and small-quantity lipid-based nutrient supplements. Complementary feeding education for caregivers can also be used to improve nutrition outcomes among infants in both food secure and insecure populations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3041
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • complementary feeding
  • infants
  • young child


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