Justification: The first National Guidelines on Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) were formulated by Ministry of Women and Child Development (Food and Nutrition Board) in 2004, and the same guidelines were revised in 2006. India is committed to halving the prevalence of under weight children by 2015 as one of the key indicators of progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). By the end of 2009 nutritional achievement goals did not make for happy reading. So there was need to revise the existing guidelines and to have more viable and scientifically accepted national guidelines on Infant and Young child feeding.
Process: A National Consultative Meet was organized by Indian Academy of Pediatrics at Gurgaon in 2009 where members of IYCF and Nutrition Chapters of IAP, BPNI, WHO, UNICEF, USAID, WFP were present. Each group made detailed presentations after reviewing recent literature on the subject. After extensive discussions a consensus was reached and the guidelines were formulated.
Objectives: To formulate, endorse, adopt and disseminate guidelines related to Infant and Young Child feeding from an Indian perspective (including infant feeding in the context of HIV infection).
Recommendations: Optimal infant and young child feeding: Early initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six month of life followed by continued breastfeeding for up to two years and beyond with adequate complementary foods is the most appropriate feeding strategy for infants and young children. Adequate nutrition and anemia control for adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating mother is also advocated.