Assessment of complementary feeding practice in children 6-23 months of age in Mosul city


Background and Objectives: Proper feeding practices of children less than 2 years of age is importantbecause it is the most critical period of life for optimal growth and development. This study aims to usethe newly developed World Health Organization (WHO) infant feeding Indicators published in 2008, toassess complementary feeding practice in children 6-23 months of age in Mosul city.Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in six primary health care (PHC) centers inMosul city during 3 months period from 11th of February to 11th of May 2013. The study sample consists of(422) healthy convenient children who attended (PHC) centers for immunization. The questionnaire datafilled by the researcher in a direct interview with consent mothers, utilizing the key indicators recommendedby the WHO (2008) used to assess infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices which include minimumdietary diversity, minimum meal frequency and minimum acceptable diet calculated for the age ranges 6 –23months of age, and based on the mother’s recall of foods given to her child in the 24 hours before theinterview. The questionnaire subsumed inquires about source of feeding advice practiced by the studiedmother. Statistical processing was conducted by the use of version 17 SPSS statistical package.Results: A total of 422 children were enrolled in this study; 231(54.7 %) boys and 191 (45.3%) girls. Themean age of the studied children is 12.4 ± 4.97 months. Less than half 192(45.5 %) of the children 6–23months of age met the minimum dietary diversity criteria whereas 334(79.1%) met the minimum mealfrequency criteria and only 172(40.8%) of the sample achieve the minimum acceptable diet criteria. Grain isthe most frequent type of food consumed by 6-23 months aged children followed by dairy products, fruitsand vegetables, egg, vitamin A-rich fruits and vegetables, and finally meat and legumes in decreasingfrequency.Conclusion: the family was the principal source of advice on child feeding practice.Key words: Complementary feeding, Mosul, new WHO indicators, infant and young child feeding, dietarydiversity, meal frequency and minimum acceptable diet.