Publication Date: 9/2019
Summary: Animal-sourced foods are the best source of nutrient-rich foods for children aged 6 to 23 mo according to the World Health Organization. Studies on the role of animal-sourced foods on cognitive functions are limited, but consistently show compelling benefits. Animal-sourced food consumption can positively contribute to school performance in children, lifelong achievement, economic productivity, and social and community outcomes. More large-scale randomized controlled longitudinal studies are required to fully understand the link between consumption of animal-sourced foods and cognitive development. Improving production of animal-sourced foods does not guarantee increased consumption by children. Complex health, gender, cultural, financial, and religious barriers limit the consumption of animal-sourced food by children, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. To increase consumption of animal-source food by vulnerable children, affordability, acceptance, and access must be increased.