|Technical notes: Special Considerations for Programming in Unstable Situations (UNICEF, 2000, 490 p.)|
|Chapter 2 - Annex 5: Malnutrition, Nutrient Requirements and Nutrient Sources|
Panel 6 indicates the energy and protein content of some common food items. The referenced publications provide further details and suggestions for various diets using items likely to be available and acceptable in various countries.
Ideally, not less than 20 per cent (but not more than 40 per cent) of the energy requirement should be supplied from fats and oils. This greatly enhances the palatability of the diet and increases the energy density, and is particularly important for young children. And, ideally, 10-15 per cent of protein should be of animal origin.
The large-scale use of specially formulated high-protein foods is rarely justified. Most normal mixed diets, of which sufficient is eaten to provide adequate energy, will also provide sufficient protein. A mixture of different foods is particularly important for children, and helps to ensure good absorption of protein.
Even a growing child, if healthy, requires no more than 10 per cent of total energy intake to be supplied in the form of protein. If energy intake is inadequate, protein will be burnt to provide energy- i.e. it will be used in the same way as carbohydrates and fat (which are usually much less expensive) - not for growth and repair.