A combined dietary and cognitive intervention in 3–5-year-old children in Indonesia: A randomized controlled trial

Nora Schneider, Eveline Geiser, Laura M. Gosoniu, Yulianti Wibowo, Gertrude Gentile-Rapinett, Mayke S. Tedjasaputra, Sudigdo Sastroasmoro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Early childhood nutritional interventions typically combine nutritional and psychosocial stimulation. Such combined interventions result in long-lasting improvements of cognitive abilities in children who are malnourished. Here, we investigated potential cognitive abilities in normally developing children in Indonesia who were, however, at risk for suboptimal cognitive development due to little psychosocial stimulation in their home environment. In a randomized controlled intervention, children of the experimental group received nutritional supplementation combined with cognitive stimulation. Pre-and post-intervention measurements included cognitive development and functioning, behavior, and mother–child interaction. The experimental and control group received nutritional supplementation in the form of a fortified or unfortified milk powder, respectively. Additionally, the children and parents of the experimental group jointly engaged in daily learning activities at home and performed iPad-based tasks designed to foster cognitive abilities. The experimental group compared to the control group displayed a significantly higher increase in intelligence quotient as well as a significantly larger reduction in attentional problems after the intervention. These results indicate that low-level cognitive stimulation in combination with nutritional supplementation during early childhood can be an effective intervention that improves global cognitive functioning in healthy developing children. ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02359669.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1394
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


  • Cognitive development
  • Cognitive stimulation
  • Fortification
  • Growing up milk


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