Mother’s Role and Knowledge in Young Children Feeding Practices on the Nutritional Status of Infant and Toddler

  •  Yusrawati Hasibuan    
  •  Ardiana Batubara    
  •  Suryani Suryani    


Adequate nutrition, beginning in early stages of life, is crucial to ensure good physical and mental development as well as long-term health. Efforts in improving nutritional status in Indonesia are mostly focused to the vulnerable groups, mainly infant (baby under one year old) and toodler (baby under two years old). Childhood underweight and overweight are an important public health problem, as these conditions tend to have a chronic condition that cause a wide range of future morbidity. Overweight in young children is associated with future cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and psychosocial problems and stunted children suffer from impaired growth with permanent consequences in their adult life that face a high risk of morbidity and mortality. In this case, parents (especially mothers as the role models) are mostly responsible on healthy eating behaviors of their young children. With refers to this empirical fact, the objective of this study was to assess the association of mother’s role and knowledge in feeding young children practices on the nutritional status of their infants and toddlers. Analytical cross-sectional study was used in this study. The sampling technique was purposive sampling and a total of samples were 136 mothers. Data were processed and analyzed by using a computer program with a chi-square test at a significance level of 95%. Overall, results of the statistical test showed that there were no significant associations between role and knowledge of the mothers and adequate nutritional status of their infants and toddlers at a p-value of 0.544> 0.05 and p-value of 0.749 > 0.05 respectively. Based on results of this study, more intensive nutrition intervention programs are necessary to prevent poor nutritional status of young children particularly for infant and toddler, conducting more active coordination in health cross-programs, and improving nutrition counseling programs and suitable health services for the concerned public.

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