Stunting is one of the common nutritional problems in the group of under-five age (toddlers). The problem is closely related to high prevalence of infection and inadequate intake from the diet. Nutrient-dense local food is available and could be used as a potential to increase nutritional adequacy. Emphasizing the use of local food is also in line with the guidelines issued by WHO and UNICEF, as well as the Balanced Nutrition Guidelines or Pedoman Gizi Seimbang (PGS) that have been applied by many countries.
Using the Linear Programming Optifood (LP-Optifood) software provided by WHO, in 2020, SEAMEO RECFON collaborated with The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and supported by Directorate of Community Nutrition, Ministry of Health Indonesia, has developed local food-based balanced nutrition guideline (PGS-PL) for infants and toddlers in 37 stunting priority districts throughout Indonesia.
The compilation of nutritional needs of each district and development of PGS PL was carried out by utilizing the Nutrition Consumption Monitoring Survey data conducted by the Ministry of Health in 2016. Data analyzing and composing of PGS-PL has also involved local academics from Local Health Polytechnics or Universities that represented 6 regions in Indonesia.
Diet intake data analysis of the toddlers’ respondents showed that Iron, Folate, Calcium and Vitamin C were the mainly common problems (nutrients problems), apart from insufficient diet intake (inadequate diet). The majority of priority districts have on average 1-2 nutrients problems and 1-3 inadequate nutrients diets.
Nutrient-dense foods that have the potential to increase the adequacy of problematic nutrient intake can be found in animal sources (especially eggs, liver, fish) and vegetables (especially green leafy vegetables rich in vitamin A). The intake will also be further increased by processing food sources using local recipes or composite menus of nutrient-dense food.
Based on the problem of nutrient deficiencies in each district and the types of food that children in the district usually eat, recommendations for nutrient-dense foods and traditional composite menus are summarized in PGS-PL. This guide is for 4 age groups of toddlers: 6-11 months, 12-23 months, 24-35 months, and 36-59 months.
In the future, this PGS-PL is expected to strengthen the Balanced Nutrition Guidelines (PGS) that have been issued by the Indonesian government. PGS-PL can also be used as a basis for developing Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) materials for various policy makers and users, especially priority areas for national programs to accelerate stunting alleviation.
The report of this activity can be accessed and downloaded in the link: