Effect of Fiber Content and Responsive Feeding Style on Intake of Infants Aged 9-11 Months in West Gojam, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Globally an estimated 162 million children less than five years of age are chronically undernourished. With 44% of children under the age of five years being stunted, 10% wasted, and 29% underweight, Ethiopia has one of the highest malnutrition rates in sub- Saharan Africa. Inadequate dietary intake due to compromised appetite along with poor quality complementary foods that are high in fiber and low in nutrient-density may be part of the problem.. Thus, the objective of this study is to investigate the effect of fiber content and responsive feeding style on the food intake of infants using a within subject cross over design. Five key responsive feeding messages were formulated and their acceptance and feasibility of being adopted in the community was assessed using focus group discussion and in depth interviews. Complementary foods that are high and low in fiber were formulated. A trial among 36 mother–infant pairs (9-11 months) was investigated the food intake when high and low fiber complementary foods with and without responsive feeding were provided. The food intake of each infant was weighed daily using a kitchen scale. Among the five responsive feeding messages, verbal encouragement and sensitization to appropriate portion size were the easiest to follow, whereas feeding with patience and self feeding encountered different reactions. The messages were accepted and can be easily adopted. However, intensive training and monitoring would be required. Intake of LF (87.66 g) was significantly higher than HF (86.18 g). After receiving responsive feeding training, infants’ intake was increased by 12.15% and 27.83% for HF and LF, respectively. Food intake decreases with increased fiber content. Responsive feeding significantly increases food intake, but the magnitude of the increase is dependent on fiber content. Applying responsive feeding and decorticating grains to decrease the fiber content is recommended to improve infants’ food intake and prevent under-nutrition. Key words: malnutrition;, fiber conten;, responsive feeding style and food intak



malnutrition; fiber conten;, responsive feeding style and food intak