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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 99-101

Beliefs and practices regarding diet in common childhood illnesses among rural caregivers

Department of Community Medicine (PSM), Rural Medical College and Pravara Rural Hospital, Loni, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Purushottam A Giri
Department of Community Medicine (PSM), Rural Medical College of Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences (Deemed University), Loni, Maharashtra 413 736
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-019X.131962

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Background: Infant feeding and complementary feeding practices are the determinants of growth and development. Inadequate nutrition contributes substantially to childhood death and disease. Restriction of diet during common childhood illnesses further compromises the nutritional status of the child. Objectives: The present study aims to determine the beliefs and practices among rural caregivers regarding diet during common childhood illnesses. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted at pediatrics department of Pravara Rural Hospital, Loni from April to June 2012 by interviewing 200 caregivers of ill children. A pre-designed and pre-tested questionnaire, which based on the beliefs and practices regarding dietary pattern in common childhood illnesses, was used to collect the data. Results were analyzed in the form of percentage and proportions whenever appropriate. Results: In this study, caregivers believed that a child must be fed less during illness. Majority (89%) believed that curd should be restricted during measles, and 69% and 72% believed that oily foods should be restricted during jaundice and fever, respectively. Feeding the child with khichadi (81.5%) was most preferred during measles, while banana (95%) was preferred food during diarrhea. About 32% preferred thinner consistency of food, and 21% believed that the breastfeeding should be decreased during illness. Conclusion: There is scope of improving feeding practices and to remove misbelieves among few caregivers. Health workers should educate elderly caregivers and mothers about the same.

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