Complementary Feeding Pattern in a Population of Pre-school Children: Any relationship with Current Feeding Habit?
AbstractObjective: It has been postulated that offering bland diets to infants could habituate to food refusal during early childhood.
To investigate the complementary feeding pattern in Nigerian preschool children and a possible association with their current feeding habits, a cross-sectional study of two hundred (200) children was done in Enugu, eastern Nigeria.
Method: Their mothers were interviewed with a structured questionnaire.
Results: Irrespective of socio-economic status, majority of the children were commenced on complementary foods between 4 and 6 months of life, which mainly consisted of poorly fortified home-prepared cereals. A higher percentage (90%) of the children who exhibited food-refusal habit at the time of study were given cereals not fortified with sweeteners, compared to about 75% of their counterparts without this habit who were similarly fed. The difference between the two groups was however not statistically significant (x 0.795, p > 0.05).
Conclusion: Although a valid association has not been established between complementary feeding pattern and food refusal, a longitudinal study may be required to establish any causal relationship.
Key Words: Complementary feeding, preschool children, food refusal, association.
Orient Journal of Medicine Vol.16(3&4) 2004: 26-30