Sokoine University of Agriculture

Food culture and child-feeding practices in Njombe and Mvomero districts, Tanzania

Show simple item record Mwaseba, D. J. B. Kaarhus, R. Mvena, Z. S. K. 2017-12-08T11:44:19Z 2017-12-08T11:44:19Z 2016
dc.identifier.issn 1753-1055
dc.description.abstract This article explores food culture and child-feeding practices, focusing on children below five years among the Bena and Luguru ethnic groups located in Njombe and Mvomero rural districts in Tanzania. In these two societies existing cultural norms, and beliefs related to child feeding focusing on breastfeeding and complementary feeding were investigated aiming at understanding how every-day practices on child feeding are socially and culturally constructed by actors including parents or guardians, thus giving cultural meanings that are attached to every-day realities on child feeding. The article is part of a larger research project whose overall purpose was to investigate the outcome of milk-based nutrition interventions involving dairy goat and cattle-keeping with the aim among others to improve health and nutritional status of family members, especially children below five years in societies where prevalence of malnutrition particularly undernutrition is rather high. Methods used included participant observation, in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and semi-structured interviews. Findings show that early after birth, pre-lacteal feeds are commonly introduced in both societies and the most common complementary food includes plain maize porridge. On the other hand, milk consumption among children was rather limited. Existing food habits and feeding practices seem to be informed by widelyshared norms and beliefs. However, these culturally established practices do not always meet the current international recommendations on child feeding. Besides, recommendations and nutritional information on child feeding have largely not been used as suggested. This paper argues that, for the successful introduction and implementation of nutrition-based interventions targeting children, it is important to identify and improve upon the indigenous child-feeding practices, reflecting existing food habits, food-related beliefs, and their meanings. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Journal of Eastern African Studies en_US
dc.subject Children en_US
dc.subject Feeding practices en_US
dc.subject Nutrition interventions en_US
dc.subject Tanzania en_US
dc.subject Food culture en_US
dc.title Food culture and child-feeding practices in Njombe and Mvomero districts, Tanzania en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.url en_US

Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Search SUA IR


My Account