TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – The Ministry of Health’s Director of Maternal and Child Nutrition and Health, Lovely Daisy, stated that low intake of animal protein can cause stunting in children.
“Based on research conducted on 130,000 children aged 6-23 months in 49 countries, it was found that stunting in toddlers is caused by low intake of animal protein foods,” Daisy noted at the media gathering in commemoration of National Nutrition Day on Thursday.
To reduce the risk of stunting, Daisy emphasized that children must consume animal protein during that age period. She said that animal protein can be obtained from various sources, such as red meat, eggs, fish, and chicken.
She remarked that different sources of animal protein aim to complete the types of essential amino acids during the children’s golden period of growth and development.
“We stress the importance of animal protein because it contains essential amino acids that can help protect them from various types of diseases,” she noted.
Hence, to this end, Daisy said that complementary feeding (MPAS) can help the fulfillment of protein consumption in children aged 6-23 years because during this development period, breast milk is no longer sufficient to meet the children’s nutritional needs.
According to Daisy, complementary feeding can meet children’s macronutrient and micronutrient requirements, such as vitamins and minerals needed for optimal growth and development.
To support this, Daisy stated that the Health Ministry has made several efforts to increase the coverage of exclusive breastfeeding and complementary foods, such as by holding breastfeeding counseling training for counselors.
Other efforts include forming a working group on infant and child feeding, carrying out breastfeeding tele-counseling, and preparing data and indicators on breastfeeding and complementary feeding.
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