Complementary Feeding Counselling Promotes Physical Growth of Infant and Young Children in Rural Villages in Leyte, Philippines

Nancy V. Dumaguing, Wilma A. Hurtada, Marites G. Yee


Appropriate infant and young child feeding practices are fundamental to the development of the full human potential of each child. In the Philippines, the impact of infant and young child feeding counselling following the recent WHO recommendations has not been evaluated sufficiently. This study was designed to determine the effect of complementary feeding counselling involving families on the dietary intake and physical growth of infants and young children. A longitudinal study involving 22 families with 6-15 months old children with weight-for-age z-scores <-2SD participated in this study. The intervention group received counselling by the barangay health care providers on the WHO recommended complementary feeding messages. Data on anthropometry were collected monthly for weight and quarterly for length. Dietary intakes were obtained through the 24-hour food recall. Socio-demographic characteristics were generated using pretested questionnaire. At the end of the study, food intake of children improved (fish, meat and poultry, 27 grams vs. 11 grams, p=0.003 and vitamin A-rich fruits and vegetables, 18 grams vs. 3 grams, p=0.033). The mean energy and nutrient adequacy ratios were significantly higher in the intervention group than the control group except for ascorbic acid after the intervention. Intervention group was 250 g heavier and 1.2 cm longer than the control group (WMD 0.38, p=0.09; WMD 0.60 SD, p=0.041). This study provides evidence that counselling on appropriate complementary feeding involving families can be used to improve infant and young children growth even under impoverished condition.


family-based complementary feeding counselling; 24-hour food recall; dietary intake


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