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Initiation of complementary feeding and associated factors among children of age 6-23 months in Sodo town, Southern Ethiopia: Cross-sectional study

Tefera Chane, Shimelash Bitew, Tesfa Mekonen, Wubalem Fekadu
  • Shimelash Bitew
    School of Public Health, Wolaita Sodo University, Ethiopia
  • Tesfa Mekonen
    School of Public Health, Wolaita Sodo University, Ethiopia
  • Wubalem Fekadu
    School of Nursing and Midwifery, Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia


Timely introduced complementary foods, which are appropriate for age, safe and nutrient dense are vital for child growth and development. The aim of the study was to identify associated factors that hampered timely introduction of complementary feeding practices among children 6-23 months. A community-based cross-sectional study was carried out. The data were collected from March 02-20, 2015 in seven-selected Kebeles of Wolaita Sodo town. Systematic sampling technique was employed to select 623 mothers/caregivers with children. The analysis was done using SPSS version 21. Principal component analysis was used to measure household economic status. Binary logistic regression was used to identify predictors of timely initiation of complementary feeding practice. The proportion of timely (at six months) introduction of complementary feeding was 71.2% [95% CI: 66.4%-75.3%], and 25.5% [95% CI: 21.7%- 30%] of children were experienced delayed introduction of complementary feeding. Variables like maternal education [AOR=0.33; 95% CI (0.14-0.78)], household economic status [AOR=0.40;95% CI(0.17-0.85)], history of child medical illness [AOR= 0.63; 95% CI (0.40-0.98)], early initiation of breastfeeding [AOR=2.59; 95% CI (1.02-7.35)] and having source of information about child feeding practices [AOR=0.41; 95% CI (0.24- 0.73)] were identified as independent predictors of introduction of complementary foods at the age of six months. The study came up with nearly three-fourth of children were initiated complementary food just at six months of age. It is not much higher than the target of the current national health sector development program. Maternal illiteracy, low socioeconomic status, presence of medical illness and lack of source of information about complementary feeding practices were associated with timely initiation of complementary feeding. Unreserved support and encouragement should be made to raise level of timely introduction of complementary foods and to diminish delayed introduction of complementary food.


Timely initiation; complementary feeding factors; 6-23 months children.

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Submitted: 2017-05-24 09:12:04
Published: 2018-01-03 11:19:25
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Copyright (c) 2017 Tefera Chane Mekonnen, Shimelash Bitew Workie, Tesfa Mekonen Yimer, Wubalem Fekadu Mersha

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