Seasonal availability and dietary intake of β-carotene-rich vegetables and fruit of 2-year-old to 5-year-old children in a rural South African setting growing these crops at household level
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This study determined the seasonal availability and dietary intake of beta-carotene-rich vegetables and fruit in a rural South African community growing these crops at household level. Monitoring year-round availability of vegetables and fruit in five local shops during 2004 showed that beta-carotene-rich vegetables and fruit were seldom available in the shops. The dietary intake of 2-year-old to 5-year-old children was determined during February, May, August and November in 2004 and 2005 using an unquantified food frequency questionnaire and 5-day repeated 24-h recall (2005 only). Consumption of beta-carotene-rich vegetables and fruit showed seasonal variation. Inadequate dietary vitamin A intake ranged from 6% in November to 21% in February and August. beta-Carotene-rich vegetables and fruit contributed 49-74% of the total vitamin A intake. It is concluded that beta-carotene-rich vegetables and fruit contribute a major part of the dietary vitamin A intake. Consumption of individual beta-carotene-rich vegetables and fruit fluctuated according to the season; nonetheless, an adequate dietary vitamin A intake was maintained throughout the year for the majority of the study population.
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