Can infants and young children eat enough green leafy vegetables from a single traditional meal to meet their daily vitamin A requirements?

Eur J Clin Nutr. 1993 Jan;47(1):68-72.


To evaluate the feasibility of providing adequate vitamin A precursors to meet the daily need from a meal oftraditionally cooked green leafy vegetables and boiled rice and to understand mothers' perceptions and acceptance of leafy vegetables for infants and young children, 118 children aged 6 months to 3 years and their mothers were studied. The mothers were interviewed regarding their acceptance and perceptions about giving leafy vegetables to their young children. Their children were served a measured amount of rice and cooked leafy vegetables and mothers were asked to feed the child within about half an hour. Median intakes of leafy vegetables in children aged 6-11 months, 12-17 months and 18-35 months were 41 g, 71 g and 129 g respectively (in terms of raw green leaf). Approximately 40 g green leaf provides the recommended daily allowance for vitamin A precursors. 77% of the under-1-year-old children were breast-fed. The breast-fed children had a lower intake of vegetables than the completely weaned children. 87% of the children were found to like vegetables, 89% of the mothers liked to give vegetables to their children and 74% of the mothers answered that vegetables were good for health. Only two mothers (1.5%) refused to feed their children the leafy vegetables. The results show that leafy vegetables are acceptable to most of the mothers, and that children can eat enough leafy vegetables to meet a day's need of vitamin A precursors. Feasibility of feeding children enough green leafy vegetables at home on a regular basis needs further study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bangladesh
  • Child Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diet Surveys
  • Food Preferences*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Maternal Behavior
  • Nutritional Requirements*
  • Psychology, Child
  • Vegetables*
  • Vitamin A / analysis*


  • Vitamin A