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Santosh University Journal of Health Sciences


What's wrong with complementary feeding practices?


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Author Details: Aparna Bisht, Veenu Agarwal

Volume : 3

Issue : 2

Online ISSN : 2455-1732

Print ISSN :

Article First Page : 71

Article End Page : 73


Abstract

Sub optimal complementary feeding (CF) practices lead to various serious health consequences and despite decade long intensive efforts of everyone involved in child health care the improvement in CF practices is minimal. It’s vital to identify a few neglected yet very important component of multi-dimensional CF and address them with even greater emphasis.
Materials and Methods: Information regarding CF was collected by 24 hour diet recall and food group frequency in past one week. 150 children aged 6 to 24 months who were not having any chronic disease or feeding difficulty were included. Nutritional assessment (anthropometry) and general physical examination (to detect manifestations of micronutrients) was done in all children.
Results: Positive practices were high rate of timely initiation of CF, continued breast feeding and high daily feed frequency found in 54.7%, 46.7% and 68% children respectively. Problematic practices observed were inadequate amount of food per feed, low and almost fixed daily diet diversity, poor frequency of important food groups like pulses, eggs, non-vegetarian food items and GYOR fruits and vegetables. Underweight, wasting and stunting was identified in 30%, 17.3% & 38% children respectively. Commonest micronutrient deficiencies were manifest anaemia and rickets found in 87% and 28.7% children.
Conclusion: Certain aspects of CF have been addressed inadequately and will require repeated counselling of caregivers to induce the desired change in their behaviour related to complementary feeding.

Keywords: Infants, Complementary feeding, Dietary diversity, Food frequency, Under-nutrition.