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Potential use of traditional fermented foods for weaning in Zimbabwe

Clifford Simango

Social Science & Medicine, 1997, vol. 44, issue 7, 1065-1068

Abstract: The current interest in the use of traditional fermented and malted foods for weaning is their potential to reduce the transmission of bacterial enteric pathogens through contaminated weaning foods as well as improving the nutritional value of the foods. This study was carried out to investigate the potential use of traditional fermented and malted foods for weaning in rural areas. Information was obtained by interviewing randomly selected 150 rural women with children under five years old. Ninety seven percent of the women had knowledge of some traditional fermented foods. The commonest fermented foods known by the women were mahewu (traditional fermented and malted sour, non-alcoholic cereal gruel), sour milk and sour porridge. Most of the women indicated that mahewu (94%), sour milk (87%) and sour porridge (71%) were consumed by all family members. The majority of the women gave the fermented foods to infants from the age of four months. Although most of the infants were introduced to the fermented and malted foods from the age of four months, the foods were not given to infants very often, with the exception of mahewu. The storage period of the fermented foods ranged from one to three days. The results of this study show that mahewu, sour milk and sour porridge have a potential for use as weaning foods if they are promoted.

Keywords: fermented; foods; weaning; diarrhoea; nutrition; Zimbabwe (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1997
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