SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • complementary feeding;
  • Infant and Young Child Feeding;
  • dietary diversity;
  • meal frequency;
  • acceptable diet;
  • South Asia

Abstract

Inappropriate complementary feeding increases the risk of undernutrition, illness and mortality in infants and children. This study uses a subsample of 1428 children of 6–23 months from Nepal Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), 2006. The 2006 NDHS was a multistage cluster sample survey. The complementary feeding indicators were estimated according to the 2008 World Health Organization recommendations. The rate of introduction of solid, semi-solid or soft foods to infants aged 6–8 months was 70%. Minimum meal frequency and minimum dietary diversity rates were 82% and 34%, respectively, and minimum acceptable diet for breastfed infants was 32%. Multivariate analysis indicated that working mothers and mothers with primary or no education were significantly less likely to give complementary foods, to meet dietary diversity, minimum meal frequency and minimum acceptable diet. Children living in poor households were significantly less likely to meet minimum dietary diversity and minimum acceptable diet. Mothers who had adequate exposure to media, i.e. who watch television and who listen to radio almost every day, were significantly more likely to meet minimum dietary diversity and meal frequency. Infants aged 6–11 months were significantly less likely to meet minimum acceptable diet [adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 3.13, confidence interval (CI) = 2.16–4.53] and to meet minimum meal frequency (adjusted OR = 4.46, CI = 2.67–7.46). In conclusion, complementary feeding rates in Nepal are inadequate except for minimum meal frequency. Planning and promotion activities to improve appropriate complementary feeding practices should focus on illiterate mothers, those living in poor households, and those not exposed to media.