Introduction of Solid, Semi-Solid or Soft Foods
English: % of infants aged 6 to 8 months of age who received solid, semi-solid or soft foods during the previous day or night
French: % de nourrissons âgés de 6 à 8 mois ayant reçu des aliments solides, semi-solides ou mous le jour ou la nuit précédents
Czech: % kojenců ve věku 6-8 měsíců, kteří během uplynulého dne či noci konzumovaly tuhou, polotuhou či měkkou stravu
What is its purpose?
At the age of 6 months, breastmilk is no longer sufficient to meet babies' nutritional needs and if complementary feeding is not introduced on time, they are at risk of undernutrition. This indicator therefore assesses whether children start complementary feeding at the appropriate age.
How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data
Collect the following data by conducting individual interviews with a representative sample of caretakers responsible for feeding children aged 6-8.99 months:
RECOMMENDED SURVEY QUESTIONS (Q) AND POSSIBLE ANSWERS (A)
Q1: Did [baby's name] eat any solid, semi-solid, or soft foods yesterday during the day or at night?
A1: yes / no / does not know
(if the previous answer is YES; verify it by asking the following question)
Q2: What kind of solid, semi-solid, or soft foods did [baby's name] eat?
A2: (to be concluded by the interviewer)
1) yes, solid, semi-solid, or soft foods were eaten
2) no, solid, semi-solid, or soft foods were not eaten
Calculate the indicator's value by dividing the number of children aged 6-8.99 months who ate any solid, semi-solid or soft foods during the previous day or night by the total number of children aged 6-8.99 months (excluding those where "does not know" answer was provided) and multiplying the result by 100.
1) This indicator relies on accurate age assessment. Since people often do not remember the exact dates of their children’s birth, the data collectors should never rely only on the information provided by caregivers and always verify the child’s age. This can be done by reviewing the child’s birth certificate or other documents; however, since many caregivers do not have such documents, it is essential that your data collectors are able to determine the child’s age by using local events calendars. Read FAO’s Guidelines (see below) to learn how to prepare local events calendars and how to train data collectors in their correct use.
2) Most likely, the sampling of your survey will be representative for "households with children aged 0 - 24/ 59 months", not for "6-8 months", resulting in a lower representativeness of data for this indicator (as only small part of your sample will be children aged 6-8 months). Unless you have a separate (representative) sample for this age group, the best thing you can do is to ensure that your survey uses a larger sample of respondents (e.g. by using 95% confidence level and 4% margin of error).
3) Disaggregate the data by sex.
Access Additional Guidance
- WHO (2008) Indicators for Assessing IYCF Practices Part 1: Definitions (English version) (.pdf)
- WHO (2008) Indicators for Assessing IYCF Practices Part 1: Definitions (French version) (.pdf)
- PIN (2015) Practical Checklist for Conducting Nutrition Surveys (.pdf)
- WHO (2010) Indicators for Assessing IYCF Practices Part 2: Measurement (French version) (.pdf)
- WHO (2010) Indicators for Assessing IYCF Practices Part 2: Measurement (English version) (.pdf)
- FAO (2008) Guidelines for Estimating the Month and Year of Birth of Young Children (.pdf)