Dietary habits and oral health in infancy and early childhood of Kenyan children at the Kenyatta National Hospital Paediatric Demonstration Unit.
The survey was conducted by the method of questionnaire in the Maternal Child Health (MCH) clinic. A total of ninety seven mothers brought their children to MCH clinic. The mean maternal age was 22 years, the youngest mother was 16 years old. The total number of children who attended the MCH clinic was 98 with an equal number of boys and girls. The age range was from 0.5-50 months with a mean age of 12 months. Most of the children were introduced to breastmilk substitutes or compliments from the age of 4 months but some of the children had been introduced to breastmilk compliments at an early age of one month. The commonly used breastmilk compliment at the age of one month was noted to be whole cow's milk, skimmed milk from Kenya Cooperative Creameries (KCC), cooked green bananas, ribena (only given to children of working mothers), fresh orange juice. The orange juice was noted to be given to children belonging to mothers who are either housewives or employed. For ages 2-3 months the commonly used breastmilk compliments or substitutes were noted to be maize meal, sorgum or millet porridge, whole cow's milk, KCC milk, ribena, orange juice, bananas and potatoes in order of preference. These same foods were given at ages 4 months up to 12 months. In addition pulses and eggs were introduced. The number of children who used the artificial formula was 33%. The method of feeding for the children attending the clinic was by using either bottle or spoon and cup. Twenty nine percent of these children were bottle fed.