Dietary Assessment and Nutritional Status of Children (6-23 Months) Consuming Local Food Recipes in Vihiga County, Western Kenya
Complementary feeding still remains a challenge in Kenya today. Nutrient inadequacy is a key issue coupled with low diversity of foods used for preparation of complementary foods for children less than two years among other problems. Research on nutrition adequacy and diversity of local recipes used in preparation of complementary foods for children less than two years in Kenya is scarce. The objective of this study was to determine nutrient adequacy and nutrition status among children 6-59 months using local formulated recipes in Vihiga County, Western Kenya. A cross sectional study was conducted on 341 households with children less than five years and their caregivers. A pretested semi-structured questionnaire was used to obtain information on socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of the study households. Also obtained were names and quantities of local ingredients used for preparation for foods for the children and individual dietary diversity questionnaire. Nutrition status of the children was entered and analyzed using (WHO Anthro 2005). Logistic regression was used to establish associations between socio-demographic variables and nutrition status of children. The level of significance was determined at p value < 0.05. The average household size was 5.54 ±2.24 family members. The prevalence of wasting, stunting and underweight was 3.25%, 20.8% and 8 % respectively. The average dietary diversity scores for children were 4.25±0.97. There were positive associations on mothers’ educational level and stunting, mothers’ educational level and dietary diversity, the number of children born to a mother also showed a positive association with stunting and wasting. These were determined at level of significance (p=0.034; p=0.038; p=0.059), respectively. Number of children born to a xix mother, mother’s education level and marital status were found to be predictors for stunting for children (p<0.05). Further analysis showed that most of the foods prepared in Vihiga identified Thiamine, Riboflavin, Calcium, Zinc, Iron and Niacin as nutrients not adequately met by the foods for the different age groups. After optimizing the diets using linear programming, all the nutrients were met. This study found that there were diverse foods available in Vihiga County. But then, more focus needs to be drawn on proper food preparation and recipe combinations so as to conserve the nutrients in these foods. Hence more research needs to be done on the long term impact of the local food recipes on the nutrition status of the children. This will directly influence the nutrient and energy density of these foods. In addition, the mother’s education level was seen to have a visible influence on the nutrition status of the children. Nutrient adequacy of complementary foods locally available in Vihiga can be improved through integration of other ingredients especially in maize based porridges commonly fed to children less than two years.
The following license files are associated with this item: