Use of pulse crops in complementary feeding of 6-23-month-old infants and young children in Taba Kebele, Damot Gale District, Southern Ethiopia

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Addisalem Mesfin
Carol Henry *
Meron Girma
Susan J. Whiting
(*) Corresponding Author:
Carol Henry | cj.henry@usask.ca

Abstract

Poor complementary feeding practices contribute to infants and young children (IYC) malnutrition, with lack of protein-containing food and micronutrients as major concerns. A cross-sectional survey was conducted to assess the dietary diversity, nutrient contents and use of pulse crops in complementary feeding at Taba kebele, Southern Ethiopia. A questionnaire was used to collect socio-demographic and dietary diversity data from a random sample of 128 mother-child pairs. A one day weighed food record assessed IYC median nutrient intake. Focus group discussion explored mothers’ perceptions and use of pulse crops in complementary food preparation. Dietary diversity assessment found that 43.7% consumed pulses, and only 18.7% consumed meat and 26.6% eggs. Focus group discussion showed that mothers had little interest in incorporating pulses into complementary foods. Raising awareness of mothers/caregivers on food diversification and promoting the inclusion of pulses in food preparation for infants and young children are vital to nutritional status of IYC.

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