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Factors Influencing Dietary Diversity in Infants in India: Study Undertaken in Two Districts

Prerna Makkar, Candice S. Vianna, Karishma Vats, Pankhuri Mishra, Steffi Elizabeth Thomas, Ayushi Singh, Maitreiyee Krishna, and Wilima Wadhwa
ASER Centre, New Delhi, India
Abstract—Adequate feeding practices in early life have a lasting impact on child nutrition and development. This paper examines the dietary diversity and its associated factors among children aged 6-12 months, in the age that they transition from breastfeeding to complementary feeding, in two districts in India: Udupi (Karnataka) and Sambalpur (Odisha). In 2019, a citizen-led survey, that can be scaled up further very rapidly and cost-effectively, was conducted covering 976 mothers of children below 1 year of age by 90 trained local volunteers. The survey tool uses the Knowledge, Access and Practices Framework and was developed, tested and refined over 4 years through diverse pilots in various locations in India. In the sample, only 12% children aged 6-12 months met the WHO’s minimum dietary diversity requirement. A linear probability regression model was used to assess significant factors for an adequate diversified diet intake in infants. Maternal education, child’s age and meal frequency were found to be significantly associated with dietary diversity. Other factors such as household wealth, gender of child, birth order and homegrown gardens did not present a strong association. Integrated interventions targeted at mothers and children that include nutrition education components into mothers’ education are more likely to be effective in improving infant dietary diversity.
 
Index Terms—child nutrition, citizen-led survey, dietary diversity, India

Cite: Prerna Makkar, Candice S. Vianna, Karishma Vats, Pankhuri Mishra, Steffi Elizabeth Thomas, Ayushi Singh, Maitreiyee Krishna, and Wilima Wadhwa, "Factors Influencing Dietary Diversity in Infants in India: Study Undertaken in Two Districts," International Journal of Food Engineering, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 21-28, December 2021. doi: 10.18178/ijfe.7.2.21-28

Copyright © 2021 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided that the article is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

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