Penelusuran Referensi Pangan dan Gizi

Meal Frequency

As a child gets older and needs a larger total quantity of food each day, the food needs to be divided into a larger number of meals. The number of meals that an infant or young child needs in a day depends on (WHO, 2009):

  1. How much energy the child needs to cover the energy gap. The more food a child needs each day, the more meals are needed to ensure that he or she gets enough.
  2. The amount that a child can eat at one meal. This depends on the capacity or size of the child’s stomach, which is usually 30 ml per kg of the child’s body weight. A child who weighs 8 kg will have a stomach capacity of 240 ml, about one large cupful, and cannot be expected to eat more than that at one meal.
  3. The energy density of the food offered. The energy density of complementary foods should be more than breast milk, that is, at least 0.8 kcal per gram. If the energy density of food is lower, a larger volume of food is needed to fill the gap, which may need to be divided into more meals.

Breastfed infant 9–23 months needs 3–4 meals a day, depending on the child’s appetite, 1–2 nutritious snacks may be offered. Snacks are defined as foods eaten between meals, often self-fed finger foods, which are convenient and easy to prepare. If they are fried, they may have a high energy density. The transition from 2 to 3 meals, and from smaller to larger meals, happens gradually between those ages, depending on the child’s appetite and how he or she is developing (WHO, 2009).


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This entry was posted on 22 October 2011 by in Balita, Gizi Daur and tagged , , , .


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