The complementary food feeding program of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Jabonga, a third class municipality in Agusan del Norte, helped decrease malnutrition incidence from a high of 74 percent to 34 percent, according to a study.

The study, tied up with  a 120-day complementary food feeding program, is conducted by DOST’s  Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI).

Findings showed that the significant increase in body weights of children is attributed to the 120-day complementary food feeding program implemented by DOST, through its attached agency the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI).

The latter developed several variants of said complementary food.

This feeding program is a continuous undertaking in partnership with the Municipality of Jabonga and its Municipal Department of Social Welfare and Development office.

 “As part of DOST’s commitment to help curb malnutrition in the country, we have developed  the complementary food  technology  through the FNRI several years ago with extensive research using readily available raw materials like rice and monggo,” said DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo.

The DOST-FNRI developed and rolled out three kinds of complementary foods, namely the Rice-Mongo Curls, the Rice-Mongo Baby Food Blend (Instant) and the Rice-Monggo with Sesame.

Complementary food samples were formally presented during the Science Nation Tour (SNT) in CARAGA recently.  Sec. Montejo handed over a basketful of complementary foods to Jabonga Mayor Jasmin F. Monton, who welcomed the DOST intervention as a very effective innovation that addressed the municipality’s malnutrition problem.

“Nagpapasalamat kami ng lubusan sa DOST para sa programang complementary food feeding program dahil ito ay nakabawas sa malnutrisyon ng mga bata sa Jabonga na may edad mula anim na buwan hanggang tatlong taon sa loob ng 120 araw (We thank the DOST for the complementary food feeding program because it reduced malnutrition of the children in Jabonga with ages from six months to three years old in a span of 120 days),” said Mayor Jabonga.

The Rice-Mongo Curls, a blend of rice flour and mongo, is crispy  with an appealing cereal taste enhanced by artificial flavours. This product contains 130 kcal of energy and 4 grams protein per 30 grams. This is enough to meet the 12 percent of recommended energy and 14.3 percent of recommended protein intake of children with age of one to three years.

As a nutritious snack, it contains 15 milligram of calcium, one milligram of iron and 21 grams of carbohydrates.

The Rice-Mongo Baby Food Blend (plain variety), meanwhile, is an instant food preparation rich in protein and energy, processed using the extrusion cooking method. It contains 120 kcal and 4 grams protein per 30 grams. This formulation is enough to meet 17 percent of recommended energy and nutrient intake (RENI) for children aged six to 12 months and 29 percent of recommended protein intake for children of the same age.

The Rice-Monggo Baby Food Blend also comes with sugar and contains 140 calories (19 percent RENI) and four grams of protein (19.4 percent RENI) for children aged six to 12 months.

The first batch of the Jabonga project had two sets of participants who started in April and October 2014. Set A had 73 while Set B had 15 participating children. After 30 days of implementation, 33 of the 73 children achieved the normal weight status for Set A and eight of 15 children achieved normal weight status for Set B. Then after the 120-day period ended, 69 out of 73 was declared with normal weight for Set A and all 15 declared with normal weight for Set B.

This complementary food feeding program of the DOST-FNRI is now being replicated in other towns and municipalities in the province as well as in the nearby province of Surigao del Norte, and other regions in the country with significant malnutrition problem.  

The unique and effective health food products of DOST-FNRI will also be featured in the upcoming National Science and Technology Week 2015 from July 24-28, 2015 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. All kids and adults, science aficionados, techies, and fun loving people from all walks of life are invited to see the DOST exhibits of various technologies and innovations for FREE. For more details please log on to or can also visit the DOST website,  (S&T Media Service)

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