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Many Indigenous infants experience severe iron deficiencies. The Fred Hollows Foundation has commenced a trial of 'Sprinkles' nutritional supplements in an effort to improve the nutrition of Indigenous children in some remote communities, and to help prevent the health problems that can occur later in life due to deficiencies in childhood. The children who participated in the trial received sachets of the supplement scattered daily across their meals. Each single dose sachet contains enough iron to meet their daily requirement, along with micronutrients such as zinc, iodine, vitamins and folic acid. The fact that 'Sprinkles' does not change the taste or colour of the food is central to its successful uptake. Approximately 150 babies and young children aged between 6 and 24 months have received 'Sprinkles' over the course of the trial, from communities in the Northern Territory, including Jilkminggan, Borroloola, Balgo, Mulan, Engawala, Ti Tree, Pmara Jutunta, Kowanyama and Ngukurr.
Originally developed in Canada, the supplement has been successfully trialed in Canada, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.
As well as giving Indigenous infants a better nutritional start to life, the program is offering local women employment and training opportunities.
Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract
Health Promotion and Nutrition Development Coordinator
Fred Hollows Foundation
61 Dunning Ave
Rosebery NSW 2018
Locked Bag 5021
Alexandria NSW 2015
Ph:(02) 8741 1900
Fax:(02) 8741 1999