Feeding and Snacking Practices and their Related Factors among Preschool Children from Rural and Urban Areas of Tanzania
Zenais F Kawishe, Matilda Mtaya
Feeding and snacking practices, Preschool children, Tanzania
Citation Information :
Kawishe ZF, Mtaya M. Feeding and Snacking Practices and their Related Factors among Preschool Children from Rural and Urban Areas of Tanzania. J Oral Health Comm Dent 2022; 16 (1):30-35.
Background: Feeding practices of children have been seen to influence their general oral health. Improper feeding practices of the children may predispose them to dental diseases like early childhood caries (ECC) that in turn affects not only their oral health but also their general health. Aim: The purpose of this study was to determine the feeding and snacking practices and related factors in preschool children from rural and urban areas of Tanzania. Materials and methods: This was a cross-sectional study which was conducted in preschools at Upanga East and Upanga West in Dar es Salaam as urban wards and Kisawasawa and Kibegere in Kilosa as rural wards. The sample size was comprised of 790 preschool children whose parents/caregivers filled out a special questionnaire on information regarding their children's feeding practices. Results: A total of 790 preschool children's parents/caregivers participated in this study. Among these, 383 (48.5%) children were from urban areas and 407 (51.5%) were from rural areas. There were 414 (52.4%) boys and 376 (47.6%) girls with an age range of 28 to 60 months with a mean age of 51.81 (SD) months. Most (90.6%) children were reported to take snacks between meals. Snacks that were mostly taken by the children were both sticky and nonsticky sugary snacks. Most (60.8%) of the children were taking snacks once per day. Majority (92.6%) of children who were >48 months of age were reported to be taking snacks between meals. More (54.3%) children from rural areas were sleeping with the mother's breast nipple in the mouth than those from the urban areas (p = 0.000). Most (61.7%) of the preschool children with parents/caregivers with higher level of education were using bottle-feeding. Conclusion: Reported feeding practices of preschool children from rural and urban areas of Tanzania were not healthy for children's oral health. So, there is a need for health workers to provide adequate information on proper feeding practices to the parents/caregivers of these preschool children.
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