It has long been recognized that meeting nutrient requirements is a prerequisite for optimal health and nutritional status.1 Eating a diverse and varied diet – one that includes different food groups as well as different foods within these groups – is essential for achieving an adequate intake of all essential nutrients.2,3 However, achieving dietary diversity requires a sufficient variety of foods to be locally available, either through own production or within local markets; the ability to purchase these foods; knowledge of their importance for growth and development; and a desire to obtain and consume them. In resource-poor settings, dietary diversity is often difficult to achieve due to poor food availability and financial access constraints. As a result, diets in such settings tend to be monotonous, consisting predominantly of starchy staple foods.4,5 Although a good source of energy, staples such as cereals, roots and tubers provide only a limited sup- ply of essential (micro)nutrients. Where staple food consumption is high, e.g., providing >70% of energy needs, there is very little room left for consumption of the nutrient-dense foods necessary to meet remaining nutrient needs without exceeding energy requirements.
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