Feeding problems in infancy and early childhood: A case study of selected Primary Health Centres in Ibadan North Local Government of Oyo State
Objective: This study was carried out to determine the prevalence of feeding problems among children 6 to 24 months of age in Ibadan, Nigeria.
Methodology: Two hundred and seventy five mother-child pairs were recruited from four selected Primary Health Centres in Ibadan North Local Government Area. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect information on socioeconomic characteristics, feeding patterns and feeding behaviour of children as well as maternal perception and coping with children's feeding behaviour.
Results: Mean age of the children was14.1 ±5.6 months with 55.3% of these being females. On average, mothers were approximately 28 years of age (28.0±5.2 years), married (89.1%), with secondary school education (53.1%).The most
common feeding problems observed among the participants were picky eating, food neophobia and intake of limited variety of food. Overall, 52% of the children had one or more feeding problems. Maternal coping strategies with their child's feeding behaviour were majorly use of rewards and force feeding.
Conclusion: There exists a spectrum of feeding problems in infancy and childhood in this study population. There is need to provide infant and young child feeding support to mothers to prevent negative impacts of feeding problems on the
nutrition and development of their children.
Key words: Feeding problems, nutritional status, picky eating, food neophobia
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