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Guiding Principles for Feeding Non-Breastfed Children 6-24 Months of Age

World Health Organization (WHO)
Year Published:
Resource Type:
Technical Guidance

This document presents guidelines for feeding non-breastfed children after the first six months of life. These Guiding Principles are intended to guide policy and programmatic action at

global, national, and community levels. PAHO’s publication Guiding Principles for Complementary Feeding of the Breastfed Child(2003) provides guidance on appropriate feeding of breastfed infants from six monthsonwards. Some of these guiding principles are applicable to non-breastfed children, but others are not, or require adaptation. To identify an analogous set of guiding principles for feeding non-breastfed children from 6-24 months of age, an informal meeting organized by WHO’s Departments of Child and Adolescent Health and Development and Nutrition for Health and Development was held 8-10 March 2004 in Geneva.


The guiding principles herein were developed based on the evidence presented in the background document for the meeting (Dewey et al., 2004) and consensus of participants in the meeting (Informal

Working Group on Feeding Non-breastfed Children, 2004). They apply to normal, term infants (including low-birth-weight infants born at > 37 weeks gestation). Infants or children recovering from acute malnutrition or serious illnesses may need specialized feeding, which is covered by clinical manuals (for example, the WHO manual “Management of the Child with a Serious Infection or Severe Malnutrition”, 2000). Pre-term infants may also need special feeding. The guidelines in this document can be used as the basis for developing recommendations for those subgroups.


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