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Nutrition of Young Children in Thailand and Isan Region

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Is nutrition of young children the same in Thailand?

In someways, it is. Indeed, westernized and wealthier families tend to chose to breastfeed their offspring and/or buy baby formula as an average family would do in the USA or in Europe. However, most Thais do not have the money nor the habit to give formula to their babies.

What are the nutritious habits of Thais and North-Eastern Thais (Isan – Thai citizens of Lao origin)

I cannot be certain this applies to all Thais, but to most North-Eastern Thais (Isan), I have noticed that this is a recurrent pattern:

• From birth to about one year old, mothers breastfeed their children until the age of one or so
• From 2 to 6 months, porridge is given until baby can eat real food
• From 6 months and up, babies start to eat rice (a type of soupy boiled rice)
• From 7-8 months, parents give a variety of other aliments -like sticky rice, fruit and meat. There are no mixers there, so mothers pre-chew the food prior to feeding their baby with it
• From 12 months to 5 years, young children are given a sweet beverage called “Dutch Mill Kids”

Dutch Mill Milk: the main food/beverage used by North-Eastern Thais from year 1 to year 5

It appears that “Dutch Mill Milk” is a very popular aliment among Thais, and each baby/young child will drink, from age 1 to age 5, about 8 bottles per day. Knowing that in every bottle, there are 8% of sugar (up to 10%), and that each bottle contains 90ml, this represents a sugar intake of 7.2g per/bottle; that is: 57.6g of sugar daily; 1,728g of sugar monthly; and 20,736g of sugar yearly.)


_Skimmed milk 41.34%
_Mixed fruit 15%
_Dehydrated milk 2.28%
_Sugar 8%
(33.38% of unknown ingredients)

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