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close this book Community Nutrition Action for Child Survival
close this folder Part I - Community nutrition problems and interventions
close this folder Unit 4: Introducing weaning practices in the community
View the document Session 1: Changing weaning practices
View the document Session 2: Making improved meaning foods in the home
View the document Session 3: Weaning food practice
View the document Session 4: Case study: Village weaning food projects in Thailand
View the document Session 5: Weaning foods - Village production techniques

Session 3: Weaning food practice


Trainees prepare and demonstrate the preparation of improved weaning foods appropriate for introduction to the community .

Time: 2-3 hours


- Handout - "Conducting a Community Weaning Food Demonstration"

- One set of cooking utensils and equipment for each work group including cups, bowls, spoons of various sizes, cooking stoves, grinders, sieve, etc. All utensils and equipment should be similar to those used in most homes in the community

- Foods to be used in the preparation of weaning mixtures

- Space for work groups to cook and demonstrate their recipes

- Water

- Flipchart and marking pens


1. Arrange the training area and equipment so that each work group has a space for cooking.

2. Review the characteristics and steps of an effective cooking demonstration. Include the points on Handout - "Conducting a Community Weaning Food Demonstration. "

3. Allow work groups to prepare their ingredients.

4. Each group should demonstrate preparation of at least one weaning food recipe. If time is limited, work groups can be paired. In this case, one group presents its demonstration for the other's comments and vice versa.

5. Encourage trainees to learn from the reactions of families in their communities to the new weaning recipes. Women often make modifications in new recipes to reduce preparation and cooking time. They may also vary ingredients to improve taste and color according to local preference. Incorporating the changes made by women in the community will often make the new weaning recipes more appropriate and acceptable .



1. Choose a recipe that calls for no more than 3 or 4 foods that can be found in most homes at the time of the demonstration.

2. Use utensils and cooking stoves that are like those in most homes.

3. Begin the demonstration by explaining why it is important to prepare improved foods for weaning-age children. Review the types of foods young children need, when soft foods should be added to the diet and the importance of frequent feeding for young children.

4. Show the ingredients you will use. You may also make a poster or handouts with the ingredients and instructions printed on them.

5. Wash your hands and the cooking utensils to demonstrate good hygiene.

6. Prepare only enough food for two or three children so that the amounts and proportions of ingredients are clearly understood. (If you wish to have many people try the new food, prepare a larger quantity before the demonstration.)

7. Show each step in the preparation; speak loudly and talk about what you are doing - always face your audience!

8. Get the audience involved - they can help prepare ingredients and, of course, they will want to sample the finished food!

9. Ask the group what they liked or disliked about the new food. Will they try it? Why? Why not?

10. Ask those who say they will try the new food to let you know if their children like it. How can they change it to make it better?