International Journal of Health Sciences and Research

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Original Research Article

Year: 2018 | Month: July | Volume: 8 | Issue: 7 | Pages: 271-280

Complementary Feeding Practices of Children 6-23 Months of Age Whose Fathers Consumed Illicit Alcohol in Kirinyaga County, Kenya

Terry Mwangi1, Irene Ogada1, Whadi-ah Parker2, Peter Chege1, Willy Kiboi3

1Department of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics, Kenyatta University, Kenya.
2Population Health, Health sciences and Innovations (PHSI), Human Sciences research Council, South Africa.
3Department of Nutrition and dietetics, Mount Kenyatta University, Kenya

Corresponding Author: Terry Mwangi


Background: The first two years are a “critical widow” for ensuring optimal growth and child development. Improving infant and young child feeding practices such as frequency and diversity is therefore critical to improve nutrition, health and development. Children in this age category are considered vulnerable because of their increased nutrient needs. Poor complementary feeding practices among children 6-23 months of age have been attributed to fathers’ illicit alcohol consumption. The purpose of this paper was to determine complementary feeding practices of children 6-23 months of age whose father consumed illicit alcohol in Kirinyaga County, Kenya. This study adopted cross-sectional analytical study design. It adopted quantitative approaches in data collection, analysis and presentation. A sample of 239 households participated in the study in Mwea-East Sub-County. A researcher administered questionnaire was used to collect socio-demographic and socio-economic information. A standard questionnaire was used to collect information on Infant and Young Child Feeding. The data was analysed using SPSS software. Statistical significance was set at p values less than 0.05. Based on the findings, of the 230 children 6-23months of age, two thirds (66.6%) were still breastfeeding and a third (33.4%) were discontinued. Minimum dietary diversity was indicated by consumption of four or more than four food groups. Majority of the children (86.1%) attained a minimum dietary diversity while minimum meal frequency was attained by most of the children (93.5%). Minimum meal frequency of 3 or more food groups was considered adequate. Minimum acceptable diet was attained by (85.2%) while those who did not attain minimum acceptable diet were (14.8%).The food consumption patterns were grains, roots and tubers was (90.9%) which were most commonly consumed while other fruits and vegetables was (43.9%) eggs (7.0%) and dairy foods (6.1%).The major occupation for fathers was casual labour (71.7%), Monthly income was between 5001-10000KES (48.7%), alcohol expenditure per week was between 250-500KES (46.1%), while fathers food expenditure per week was <1750KES (88.3%). Food expenditure had a positive correlation with complementary feeding. In this study there was evidence that children 6-23 months of age attained minimum meal frequency, dietary diversity and minimum acceptable diet. However the food consumption patterns were low especially for animal sources and vitamin A rich foods. Food expenditure as well as alcohol expenditure has shown to influence complementary feeding practices.

Key words: Illicit alcohol consumption, Complementary feeding practices.

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