Main Article Content
Introduction: Infant and young child feeding practices have substantial consequences on the growth, development and health of infants and children. Adequate nutrition depends on the proper feeding practices by mothers or caregivers. However, factors such as unemployment, household food insecurity and cultural beliefs are some of the challenges in feeding young children. This study aimed to describe the feeding practices of caregivers of less than five-year olds at Nyangabgwe Hospital, Botswana.
Methodology: A descriptive quantitative survey was undertaken among caregivers of children less than five years attended to for malnutrition at Nyangabgwe Hospital, Botswana. Structured questionnaires were used to collect data on feeding practices and challenges faced by caregivers. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize data and determine the frequencies of events. Pearson Chi-square test was used to determine association between feeding practices caregivers and child characteristics.
Results: Recruited caregivers (n=197), were mostly single females. Eighty percent were in the 21-40 year age group. Approximately 60% were rural dwellers and about 75% reported sometimes not having enough to eat. Caregivers’ education significantly played a role starting complementary feeding. A significant association (p<0.05) was observed between food security and the source of income, educational status and the number of children in the household.
Conclusion: This study has shown that food security in association with caregiver unemployment and education were the main challenges faced in feeding children less than five years at Nyangabgwe Hospital. This requires a home-based nutrition education for caregivers in order to improve child-feeding practices.