Nutritional quality of diets fed to young children in urban slums can be improved by intensive nutrition education
Authors: Palwala, Misba; Sharma, Shweta; Udipi, Shobha A.; Ghugre, Padmini S.; Kothari, Gopa; Sawardekar, Pradeep
Source: Food & Nutrition Bulletin, Volume 30, Number 4, December 2009 , pp. 317-326(10)
Abstract:Background. Almost half of India's children under 3 years of age are undernourished and at risk for illness and death. Poor complementary feeding practices contribute substantially to the problem. Promoting appropriate feeding practices is critical for ensuring child survival, health, and nutrition. Nutrition education is a feasible intervention and has the potential to help achieve the Millennium Goals, provided it is implemented appropriately. However, in existing programs, education is too generalized and based on information transfer.
Objective. To develop and implement a need-based, situation-specific education program for mothers to bring about changes in complementary feeding practices, with emphasis on the quantity and nutritional quality of complementary feeds.
Methods. Four hundred fourteen mothers or caregivers from five slums in Mumbai participated in a 3-month intervention study. Gaps in complementary feeding practices were identified at baseline. Education was given by trained fieldworkers, first to groups of 8 to 10 mothers or caregivers using innovative modules and demonstrations, followed by weekly monitoring and reinforcement. A simple checklist was used at each follow-up to assess impact, identify practices not adopted, and provide further inputs. Data collected at three follow-ups were compared with baseline and analyzed by SPSS using the chi-square test, the t-test, and ANOVA to assess whether feeding practices of the mothers or caregivers were altered favorably.
Conclusions. The intervention process used in this study, the modules used, and the use of the checklist as complementary feeding practices. Incorporation of these in existing Growth Monitoring and Promotion programs would help to improve child nutrient intakes and thus reduce the prevalence of undernutrition.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2009-12-01
- Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation in association with the United Nations University. The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.
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