Effects of mothers/caretaker's Nutritional knowledge, attitudes and dietary practices on the dietary practices and Nutritional status of children ages 2-5years
MetadataShow full item record
Good nutrition is important in promoting health among children and is dependent on quality of food eaten. Children’s food choices are often determined by many factors among the most important being a mothers/caretaker’s nutritional knowledge, attitude and practices. Children aged 2-5 years are considered susceptible to malnutrition due to the high rate of growth and development at this stage of life and therefore good nutrition is desired for them to ensure proper growth and development. Mothers/ caretakers to these children play an important role in their food choices and nutritional practices to ensure good health, proper growth and development. This study was designed to assess the effect of nutritional knowledge, attitudes and practices of mothers/caretakers on dietary practices and nutritional status of children aged 2-5 years. A semi-structured and previously pretested questionnaire was used to interview 122 mothers/caretakers from both rural and peri-urban settings in Nyakayojo sub-county, Mbarara district. The information collected included socio-demographic characteristics, mothers’/caretakers’ nutrition knowledge, attitude and dietary practices as well as their associations with children’s dietary practices and nutritional status. The results showed that 49% of the mothers/caretakers had an average level of nutritional knowledge (63.8%) for both peri-urban and rural areas respectively, while 65.6% of the mothers/caretakers had positive attitudes towards good nutrition. However, both the knowledge and the attitudes were not significant ly affected by the area of residence. The prevalence of SAM and MAM were 1.6% and 2.5% respectively with most of the children exhibiting a normal nutritional status (98.4% in rural and 93.4% in peri-urban). About 72% of the children followed the recommended meal patterns (3 main meals and a snack a day), with 1 meal as the mean daily number of meals consumed by the children. This study found no correlations between mothers/caretaker’s nutritional knowledge, attitudes and, the dietary practices as well as the nutritional status of children aged 2-5 years (p<0.05). However, this study partly confirmed no association between mothers/caretaker’s nutrition attitude and the dietary practices of children aged 2-5 years. This is because mothers/caretakers’ attitudes had no association with the number of meals consumed, but had an association with the frequencies of consumption on variety of foods by children aged 2-5 years. Therefore, this study showed that living in the rural or peri-urban areas neither affected mothers/caretaker’s nutritional knowledge, attitudes and practices nor affected children’s dietary intake patterns and nutritional status.