eISSN: 2450-5722
ISSN: 2450-5927
Journal of Health Inequalities
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vol. 8
Original paper

Evaluation of complementary feeding practices and mothers’ nutritional knowledge in reference to current Polish recommendations

Agnieszka Koziol-Kozakowska
Anna Stochel-Gaudyn
Edyta Łuszczki

Department of Pediatrics, Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Institute of Pediatrics, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland
Institute of Health Sciences, Medical College of Rzeszów University, Poland
J Health Inequal 2022; 8 (2): 145–154
Online publish date: 2023/01/19
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The method of feeding, the appropriate time of introduction of complementary foods (CF) or the responsive method of feeding is one of many factors that may decide the child’s future eating habits and health. The aim of the study was to evaluate complementary feeding practices and mothers’ knowledge of early childhood nutrition in reference to current recommendations.

Material and methods
The study was performed between January and March 2022 and included 399 healthy mothers of a healthy child aged 12-24 months, who completed an online questionnaire. The average age of children was 16.3 ± 11.0 months.

In the study group 50.2% of the children were breastfed (5% exclusively breastfed) in the first 6 months of life. Fifteen percent (15.7%) of mothers decided to stop breastfeeding for non-medical reasons. Fourty seven percent (47.1%) of women introduced complementary foods at the age of 5-6 months (17-26 week), 15% before the recommended time and 27.8% after. Mothers with higher education introduced earlier into their child’s diet such pro­ducts as vegetables, dairy products like yogurt and cottage cheese, finger foods, and baby cereal but later gluten and fish. In the study 31% of mothers had a high level of knowledge of current infant nutritional recommendations. The lowest rate of proper answers in the knowledge test was given to questions regarding sugar added to baby products (19.8%) and the benefits of using baby cereal (23.6%) and timing of introducing dairy products to the diet (29.1%). The main source of nutrition knowledge reported by the mothers was the Internet; only 14% of them consulted a physician on this issue.

The mothers’ knowledge about current recommendations regarding appropriate infants’ nutrition is not sufficient. The complementary feeding practices should be improved, especially as regards the low percentage of exclusively breastfeeding mothers, the delayed time of expanding the diet and too many meals consumed during the day.


infant, complementary feeding, breastfeeding, diet, nutritional knowledge

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