Mothers/Caregivers Age and Family Structure Predicted Knowledge on Recommended Nutrition Practices for Children under 5 Years

Jacob Setorglo, Moses K. Klevor, Philip Narteh Gorleku, Mirabel Asomboya, Kingsley Kwadwo AsarePereko, Austin Gideon Adobasom-Anane, Matilda Steiner-Asiedu


Introduction: There are recommendations regarding infant and young child feeding and when followed children’s growth are optimum. These feeding practices are age definitive, starting from exclusive breastfeeding, to the transition of the child to complementary foods.

Objective: The objective of this study was to assess factors that determine nutritional knowledge among mothers/caretaker regarding children under five years.

Methods: A cross sectional study design employing quantitative methods was chosen for this study. The study population comprised 285 caregivers and their children aged of 6 and 59 months. Respondents were chosen randomly from four hard-to-reach communities and two peri-urban communities within three sub-municipalities, who lived in and accessed child welfare services during the study period. Face-to-face interviews were used to collect background and nutritional knowledge data from the respondents. Maternal/caretaker knowledge on recommended nutritional practice was split into two with scores were greater than 7 out of the 13 knowledge items was considered as good. STATA version 14 was used to analyze data and statistical significance determine at 95% confidence interval.

Results: The average age of the children under 5 years and their mothers/caretakers were 32 months and 29 years respectively. About 73% had nuclear family structure. Results of Chi square and Fisher’s exact tests for association indicated that, mother’s/caretaker’s age (p<0.001), family structure (p=0.010) and access to media information (p<0.001) were significantly associated with mother’s good nutritional knowledge on recommended practices. Mothers/caretakers age (OR=0.17; 95%CI: (0.70-0.43); family structure (OR=0.30; 95% CI (0.11-0.78) and access to media (AOR=5.12; 95% (2.46-10.69) predicted mothers nutritional knowledge.

Conclusions: Maternal/caretaker factors predicted nutritional knowledge when feeding a child in both peri-urban and rural areas. These factors should be considered when promoting child nutrition.

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