Dried small fish provide nutrient densities important for the first 1000 days

Kendra A. Byrd, Lauren Pincus, Monica M. Pasqualino, Farayi Muzofa, Steven M. Cole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Inadequate nutrient intakes are prevalent among many populations in sub-Saharan Africa and increasing fish consumption among pregnant/lactating women and children is one strategy to improve diets and address nutrient deficiencies. We report the nutrient content of two fish-based recipes—fish powder and fish chutney—that contain dried small fish available in local markets in Zambia. The contribution of a serving of each recipe to the recommended daily intakes of iron, zinc, calcium and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) for pregnant/lactating women and children 6–24 months was calculated because these nutrients are commonly deficient in African diets. We found that one 10-g serving of fish powder provides 20% or more of the daily calcium recommendation and 37% or more of the daily DHA recommendation for both pregnant/lactating women and children. A 30-g serving of fish chutney provides over 40% of the daily calcium recommendation for pregnant women and over 50% for lactating women. Additionally, we investigated the nutrient density (nutrients per kilocalorie) of the fish powder and compared it with the nutrient density of a small-quantity lipid-based nutrient supplement plus (SQ-LNS-plus). SQ-LNS-plus is designed to enhance children's diets by providing micronutrients and DHA. Fish powder is similar to SQ-LNS-plus in iron and zinc density and even higher in calcium and DHA density. Consuming dried small fish as part of a daily meal can be a viable strategy for combatting nutrient deficiencies in the first 1000 days.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13192
JournalMaternal and Child Nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • complementary feeding
  • dietary strategies
  • essential fatty acids
  • lactation
  • low-income countries
  • micronutrients
  • pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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