The way caregivers use supplementary food for undernourished children and integrate it into feeding patterns may influence the benefits achieved by supplementation. We studied feeding patterns and behaviors in 170 underweight 6-17-month-olds who received either lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS) (n=85) or corn-soy blend (CSB) (n=85) during a 12-week intervention trial in southern Malawi. Observational data were collected during one 11h home visit per participant. Differences were assessed by study group and by mode of serving LNS. Associations between selected caregiver behaviors and child growth were also tested. We found no difference between the CSB and LNS groups in mean number of feeding episodes per day or mean daily feeding time. Caregivers fed the child with a spoon, washed their hands before feeding, and there were leftovers significantly more often in the CSB than LNS group and when LNS mixed with porridge and plain LNS were compared. This suggests that differences between the groups were linked to the mode of serving LNS. Presence of leftovers was negatively associated with change in child's WAZ. Programs promoting LNS in Malawi should consider behaviors related to mode of serving and provide advice to caregivers in order to minimize leftovers during supplement use.
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