Background: One of the most noteworthy causes of child malnutrition and death is inappropriate complementary feeding (CF) in the first 2 years of life. This study aimed to assess the knowledge, attitude, and practices of CF among mothers of children aged 6-24 months.
Methodology: A cross-sectional, health facility-based study was conducted in six primary healthcare centers (PHCCs) selected from a total of 16 primary PHCCs founded at the Unaizah health sector, Saudi Arabia, using a validated questionnaire distributed among 300 mothers.
Results: The average ages of the surveyed mothers and children were 28.4 (±5.7) years and 16.7 (±6.3) months, respectively. About 86.7% of the mothers had heard about CF. However, 25.7% indicated that doctors were their source of knowledge, while 24.3% took their knowledge from social media. Moreover, almost half of the mothers agreed that CF should be started at the age of 6 months, while a quarter of the sample reported that they did not know the appropriate time to start CF. The main reason for delaying CF was the thought that breastfeeding is enough for children. The prevalence of breastfeeding and bottle feeding was 26.7% and 60.7%, respectively.
Conclusion: There was a lack of knowledge among mothers about the importance of CF; therefore, there is a need to improve the level of knowledge of mothers and activate the role of healthcare workers and social media by increasing the mother's knowledge about CF and breastfeeding.
Key words: Complementary feeding, breastfeeding, KAP, Saudi Arabia, bottle feeding.