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Complementary feeding —Reasons for inappropriateness in timing, quantity and consistency



To assess the practice of complementary feeding (CF) in infants 6 month to 2 year, knowledge of mothers regarding CF, and reasons for inappropriate CF practices.


CF practices were assessed in children aged 6 months to 2 years using semi-structured questionnaire. Demographic profile and mother’s knowledge regarding CF was recorded. Cause of inappropriate CF was ascertained by open-ended questions.


Among the 200 children studied, 32(16%) were not started on CF at all, and only 35 (17.5%) received CF from 6 months. Of the 168 who were started CF, mean age of starting feeds was 13.37 months. Quantity was adequate in 42(25%) and consistency of food was thick in 64(38%) cases. Only 7(3.5%) mothers started CF at proper time, in adequate quantity and with proper consistency. Knowledge of proper timing was present in 46% of children, adequate quantity in 46.5% and thick consistency in 25.5%. Only 16(8%) mothers had proper knowledge of all three aspects of CF. Knowledge regarding appropriate timing and consistency varied significantly with maternal education and paternal education (Chisquare P<0.05). On multiple logistic regression only maternal education of graduate level corelated with knowledge of timing of CF (P=0.089. OR-3.5, Cl 0.826–15.2). Most common reason for inappropriate practice in 154 mothers who delayed feeds was “tried but did not eat, vomits everything” (52%).


CF practices were inappropriate and knowledge inadequate in majority of the children studied.

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Correspondence to Anju Aggarwal.

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Aggarwal, A., Verma, S., Faridi, M.M.A. et al. Complementary feeding —Reasons for inappropriateness in timing, quantity and consistency. Indian J Pediatr 75, 49–53 (2008).

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Key words

  • Complementary feeding
  • Infant feeding
  • Mothers knowledge