The Acceptability and Feasibility of an Innovative Feeding Toolkit to Improve Infant and Young Child Feeding in Mbeya District, Tanzania Open Access

Sawyer, Sarah (Spring 2018)

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Introduction: In Tanzania there is a need for tools that allow mothers and caregivers to improve complementary feeding practices for children aged 6-24 months, including improving the quality, quantity, and diversity of food, as well as the frequency of feeding. We used an innovative feeding toolkit, which included a demarcated bowl, slotted spoon, and counseling card, to target the practice of behaviors associated with complementary feeding. Methodology: In June–September 2017, we assessed community acceptability of the feeding bowl, spoon, and counseling card and conducted user-testing of the toolkit with caregivers of children 6-18 months of age in Mbeya region, Tanzania. Results: Over the course of the trial, the mean number of meals in the previous 24 hours increased from 2.35 to 2.79 meals in 6-8.9 month olds and from 2.58 to 2.78 meals in 9-11.9 month olds, but decreased from 3.35 to 3.28 meals in 12-18 month olds. The mean number of food groups in the previous seven days increased from 5.45 to 6.9 groups in 6-8.9 month olds, from 7.53 to 8.79 groups in 9-11.9 month olds, and from 8.7 to 9.5 groups in 12-18 month olds. The percent of infants consuming age-appropriate volume of food at each meal increased from 20% to 95% in 6-8.9 month olds, from 21% to 50% in 9-11.9 month olds, and from 35% to 39% in 12-18 month olds. The majority of mothers reported changes in their child’s diet since they started using the feeding toolkit, including increases in quantity of the food the child age and positive changes in the child’s health. Mothers noted increasing feeding frequency and number of food groups fed to their infant. Conclusion: The innovative feeding toolkit was generally found to be acceptable and feasible for use in Tanzania to improve infant and young child feeding. Further research needs to be conducted on the feeding toolkit to better determine its effectiveness in improving infant and young child feeding practices.


Table of Contents


Chapter I: Introduction - 9

Context of the Project - 9

Problem Statement - 10

Purpose of the Project - 11


Chapter II: Literature Review - 12

Global Problem of Maternal and Child Malnutrition - 12

Maternal Nutrition - 13

Exclusive Breastfeeding - 14

Complementary Feeding - 14

Consequences of Maternal and Child Undernutrition - 15

Review of Theoretical Frameworks - 15

Evaluation of Recent Maternal and Child Nutrition Interventions - 21

Tanzania Context - 31

References - 33


Chapter III: Manuscript - 35

Abstract - 37

Introduction - 38

Methods - 39

Results - 43

Discussion - 51

References - 58


Chapter IV: Conclusion and Recommendations - 59


Chapter V: Appendices - 61


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