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Original Research

Assessment of infant and young child feeding practices with special emphasis on IYCF indicators in a field practice area of Rural Health Training Centre at Dabhoda, Gujarat, India

Haresh Chandwani, Arpit Prajapati, Bhavik Rana, Kantilal Sonaliya.


Background: Breast-feeding practices play an important role in reducing mortality and morbidity among children. The optimal infant and young child feeding practices during the first 2 years of life is of paramount importance.

Objective: To study infant and young child feeding practices with special emphasis on infant young child feeding indicators in a field practice area of Rural Health Training Centre (RHTC), Gujarat, India.

Materials and Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study conducted for 6 months, i.e., from Jan 2013 to July 2013, at the RHTC. A total of 300 eligible mothers having children aged 0–23 months were approached through house to house visit by convenient sampling method and data collected regarding infant young child feeding practices.

Result: Of the total 300 studied children, 120 were below 6 months and 180 children were of 6–23 months age group. Of the 120 children who belonged to less than 6 months age group, the majority (94.2%) were put on breast-feeding within 1 h of birth, while only 4.2% children were given prelacteal feed. Ninety-five percent children were exclusively breast-fed for 6 months. All mothers of children who belonged to 12–23 months age group continued breast-feeding upto 2 years. Of all, 59.8% started complementary feeding at 6 months. Of 180 children belonging to 6–23 months age group, 28.3% were fed from four or more food groups whereas 71.7% from less than four. Minimum meal frequency (MMF) was adequate in 95.6% while minimum acceptable diet (MAD) was observed in 28.3% of children.

Conclusion: This study revealed reasonably good infant and young child feeding practices, but a few indicators especially the MAD indicator is poor and it shows the inadequacy of minimum dietary diversity combined with MMF among the children studied.

Key words: Infant young child feeding (IYCF), breast-feeding, minimum dietary diversity, prelacteal feed

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