Vitamin supplements come in many different forms from pills to syrups to gummies. They also come in formats that can be added to fortify the foods that are already being eaten at home. Home nutrition packets are a proven cost-effective way for mothers around the world to get essential nutrients into their children’s and their own diets. These small packets containing a combination of micro and macro nutrients are simply added to meals a few times a week. The packets cost as little as 3 cents each, making them affordable and allowing families to continue to enjoy the local foods they eat every day rather than replacing them with new and expensive options.
The types of home nutrition packets generally breakdown into two categories: (1) Multi-micronutrient powders and (2) Lipid-based nutrient supplements.
Multi-micronutrient powders (aka MNPs) are small packets containing a blend of vitamins and minerals – such as Vitamin A, Iodine, Zinc and Folic Acid – in powder form. These can be sprinkled onto homemade foods.
Lipid-based nutrient supplements (aka LNS) also include a blend of vitamins and minerals, but unlike multi-micronutrient powders, LNS also provide energy, protein, and essential fatty acids. LNS recipes typically included vegetable fat, peanut/groundnut paste, milk powder and sugar and they are safe to store without refrigeration.
There are currently over 12 companies that produce home nutrition packets, each with a unique brand for their local market.
Interested in learning more about home nutrition packets are you? Check out these resources:
The Home Fortification Technical Advisory Group - hftag.gainhealth.org
The Sprinkles Global Health Initiative - http://www.sghi.org/
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