Moderate and severely malnourished children referred from public health clinics in Kingston, Jamaica, to a metabolic ward were treated at home for 6 months using community health aides and standard health care similar to that offered by the local health service. A randomly selected subgroup of these children received in addition a daily high energy food supplement of 3.31 MJ for the first 3 months of the 6-month intervention period. Both groups received full nutritional and medical surveillance and care. The supplemented gained significantly more in weight than the unsupplemented children, but the advantage was lost once supplementation ceased. They also gained significantly more in length and this gain was maintained at the end of the intervention period. However, this increase in length, without continuing superior weight gain, left the supplemented children significantly more wasted than the unsupplemented, as measured by a body mass index (weight divided by height squared). These findings remained stable after interactions with morbidity measures had been taken into account. It is concluded that (1) high-energy supplementation assists rehabilitation of malnourished children brought to public health service clinics and treated in the community, and (2) supplementation should be continued until there is catch-up growth to within an acceptable distance from expected length for age.