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The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition
ISSN: 1606-0997
EISSN: 1606-0997
Vol. 37, No. 1, 2018, pp. 1-7
Bioline Code: hn18006
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, Vol. 37, No. 1, 2018, pp. 1-7

 en Concerns regarding complementary feeding practices among urban Chinese mothers: a focus group study in Xi’an
Liu, Xin; Liao, Xia; Ren, Qiannan; Luo, Meng; Yang, Lei; Lin, Jing & Chang, Jie


Background: Complementary feeding (CF) is an important determinant of infant growth and development. However, CF practices are influenced by caregivers’ perceptions and knowledge. This study aimed to describe perceptions and factors that potentially influence CF practices among Chinese mothers living in Xi’an, a rapidly developing city in China.
Methods: This focus group study included three discussion groups. Topics related to practices and concerns regarding CF were discussed among women with at least one child aged 4–36 months. A brief questionnaire was used to collect demographic information for mothers and their children.
Results: Among study participants, the timing of starting CF for their children varied from age 4 to 8 months. Grain was ranked as the top food for CF, and homemade food was preferred to commercial CF products. Food additives and preservatives were the priority concerns when purchasing commercial baby food, particularly regarding uncertainty about their safety. In terms of nutrition, deficiencies in minerals and vitamins were of major concern. The issue of bio-availability of added nutrients in baby food was also raised during the discussions. Participants showed a strong reliance on information obtained from the Internet via computers or smartphones as their main source of CF knowledge, but felt this information lacked expertise.
Conclusions: Participating mothers from Xi’an prefer homemade food for CF to commercial products. More scientific knowledge of CF and related food safety issues should be available, perhaps via Internet-based approaches.

Complementary feeding; Food additives; Urban mothers

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