Is there a “complementary feeding cultural core” in rural Kenya? Results from ethnographic research in five counties

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dc.contributor.author Thuita, F.M.
dc.contributor.author Pelto, G.H.
dc.contributor.author Musinguzi, E.
dc.contributor.author Armar-Klemesu, M.
dc.date.accessioned 2019-05-24T09:07:52Z
dc.date.available 2019-05-24T09:07:52Z
dc.date.issued 2019-01
dc.identifier.other https://doi.org/10.1111/mcn.12671
dc.identifier.uri http://ugspace.ug.edu.gh/handle/123456789/30260
dc.description.abstract This investigation used data from focused ethnographic studies in five rural counties in Kenya to determine whether the concept of "special foods for infants and young children" exists in the different ethnic groups in these areas as an identifiable component of cultural beliefs and knowledge, as well as in practice, and whether they can be characterized as a "complementary feeding cultural core." The concept of "cultural core foods" refers to the set of foods that have a central role in diets of a population and, as a consequence, also have significant social and emotional components. We used the ethnographic cognitive mapping technique of "free listing" and a qualitative 24-hr recall of infants and young children (IYC) intake, with probing, to obtain data on caregivers' beliefs and behaviours. The results show that an IYC cultural food core can be identified in all of the counties. A related finding that supports the argument for an "IYC cultural core" with respect to appropriate foods for IYC is the clear cognitive consensus within sites about its content, although in practice, food insecurity and food shortage constrain household abilities to put their beliefs into practice. We conclude that interventions to improve IYC feeding in rural Kenya that build on the concept of "IYC cultural core foods" will be congruent with basic cultural ideas about managing IYC feeding and could take advantage of this cultural feature. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Maternal and Child Nutrition en_US
dc.subject Application of ethnographic methods en_US
dc.subject Behavior change communication en_US
dc.subject Complementary feeding en_US
dc.subject Core foods en_US
dc.subject Cultural consensus en_US
dc.subject Nutrition interventions en_US
dc.title Is there a “complementary feeding cultural core” in rural Kenya? Results from ethnographic research in five counties en_US
dc.type Article en_US


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  • Nutrition Department [42]
    The overall goal of the department is to conduct research and provide solutions to nutritional problems in Ghana. In pursuance of this goal, the Nutrition Department since its inception has focused its research in the areas of maternal, infant and young child nutrition, food consumption and food security and micronutrient deficiency and interventions. These are priority food and nutrition problems in Ghana.

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