CONSUMPTION PATTERNS OF VITAMIN A RICH FOODS BY PRESCHOOL CHILDREN IN RURAL AREAS OF IMO STATE, NIGERIA

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Published: 2016-01-22

Page: 41-49


UKEGBU PATRICIA OGECHI *

Department of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, P.M.B. 7267, Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria.

AGIM SILVERLYN CHIOMA

Department of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, P.M.B. 7267, Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Aim: The aim of this study was to assess consumption patterns of vitamin A rich foods by pre-school children in rural communities of Ohaji/Egbema in Imo state, Nigeria.

Study Design: A cross sectional descriptive survey was conducted.

Materials and Methods: A total of 350 mothers/caregivers and preschooler (aged 2-5years) pairs were selected using multi-stage sampling from Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area in Imo state, Nigeria. An interviewer administered questionnaire was used to elicit information from mothers/caregivers on knowledge, socio-demographic characteristics and food habits of the pre-school children. Market and shop surveys were conducted to identify vitamin A rich foods. A modified 7-day Helen Keller International (HKI) qualitative Food Frequency questionnaire and 24 hour recall were used to assess consumption pattern and mean frequency of vitamin A rich foods by preschoolers.  Data were analysed using descriptive statistics.

Results: There was an almost equal distribution of the male (50.9%) and female (49.1%) preschoolers. More than half of the mothers/caregivers were farmers (51.1%) and had up to secondary education (61.7%). Majority of mothers/caregivers (92%) had poor knowledge of vitamin A rich foods. The general meal pattern for majority of the preschoolers was three or more meals per day (84.2%). Parental ownership of backyard garden was high (89.7%), while few (28%) actually grow fruits and vegetables on their farm/garden. Red palm oil and dark green leafy vegetables (DGLVs) were more frequently consumed (≥85%) over a 7 day period. The mean frequency of consumption of animal (1.79±0.63 days per week) and plant (2.25±0.75 days per week) sources of vitamin A was low.

Conclusion: The findings indicate that consumption of Vitamin A rich foods was below the threshold value of HKI recommendation. Mothers/caregivers of the children should be encouraged and taught how to incorporate vitamin A rich foods (both animal and plant sources) into the daily meals of their preschool children.

Keywords: Vitamin A, consumption pattern, preschool children, rural


How to Cite

OGECHI, U. P., & CHIOMA, A. S. (2016). CONSUMPTION PATTERNS OF VITAMIN A RICH FOODS BY PRESCHOOL CHILDREN IN RURAL AREAS OF IMO STATE, NIGERIA. Journal of Advances in Food Science & Technology, 3(1), 41–49. Retrieved from https://ikprress.org/index.php/JAFSAT/article/view/3473

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