Weaning foods and their impact on child-feeding practices among low-income Nigerian mothers
Food and Nutrition Bulletin
Department of Food Science and Technology, Human Nutrition Division, Federal University of Technology, PMB 704, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria
Background. Many children in rural communities of developing countries die of nutrition-related causes due to lack of nutrition education and low purchasing power of the families, which result in low-quality weaning foods and poor feeding practices. Objective. To evaluate the nutritional composition of local weaning foods and their impact on child feeding practices among low-income Nigerian mothers. Methods. A cross-sectional survey was conducted between March and June 2005 among 294 randomly selected pairs of nursing mothers and their children who attended the postnatal clinic of State Specialist Hospital and Comprehensive Health Centers in Akure community, Ondo State, Nigeria. A structured, self-or interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to collect information on infant demographic characteristics, feeding, and socioeconomic characteristics of the parents. The children's weights were recorded, and samples of the weaning foods were analyzed. Results. The mothers' ages ranged from 22 to 37 years, and the children's from one to 12 months. Among the parents, two-fifths of the respondents worked as drivers, mechanics, carpenters, and the like, while the remaining respondents were civil servants, health professionals, teachers, merchants, and housewives. The educational attainment of the parents ranged from no formal education (1.4%) to higher education (46%); 13% had completed primary school, and 39.6% had completed secondary school. The average monthly family income was between 3,500 and 30,000 naira (US$23.3-$200). Among the children, 58.3% were of normal weight, 41.1% were mildly underweight, 0.3% moderately underweight, and 0.3% severely underweight; 23.1% were exclusively breastfed, 9.5%sturson received breastmilk and traditional medicinal herbs, 15. 6% received breastmilk and commercial weaning food, 7.4% received commercial weaning food only, 14.8% received local weaning foods only, 24.1 % received local weaning foods plus breastmilk, and 5.8% received the family diet. Conclusions. We found that a high proportion of the nursing mothers used local ingredients to formulate weaning foods for their babies. The nutritional compositions of these foods is of high quality and are suitable as weaning foods, particularly for infants of low-income parents who do not have access to commercial weaning foods. © 2006, The United Nations University.
child care; feeding; food intake; food quality; low income population; nutritional requirement; nutritive value; rural area; weaning; adult; article; baby food; breast feeding; catering service; cross-sectional study; female; human; infant nutrition; male; mother; newborn; Nigeria; nutritional value; poverty; psychological aspect; socioeconomics; standard; statistics; weaning; Adult; Breast Feeding; Cross-Sectional Studies; Female; Food Supply; Humans; Infant Food; Infant Nutrition Physiology; Infant, Newborn; Male; Mothers; Nigeria; Nutritive Value; Poverty; Socioeconomic Factors; Weaning; Africa; Nigeria; Sub-Saharan Africa; West Africa