Field testing of the revised, draft South African Paediatric Food-Based Dietary Guidelines among mothers/caregivers of children aged 12–36 months in the Stellenbosch Municipality in the Western Cape province, South Africa
Field testing of the revised, draft South African Paediatric
Objective: To assess the appropriateness and understanding of the revised, draft South African Paediatric Food-Based Dietary Guidelines (SA-PFBDGs) among mothers/caregivers of children aged 12–36 months. Exposure to guidelines with similar messages, barriers and enablers to following of the guidelines were also assessed.
Design: A descriptive cross-sectional qualitative study was conducted. Data were collected from nine focus-group discussions (FGDs) conducted in isiXhosa, English and Afrikaans, resulting in 65 participants, 20 from formal areas and 45 from informal areas.
Setting: Stellenbosch Municipality (Stellenbosch, Pniel and Franschhoek) Subjects: The study population included mothers/caregivers older than 18 years, who consented to participate.
Results: This study revealed that participants expressed a general understanding of the core messages contained in the revised, draft SA-PFBDGs. Misinterpretation arose regarding certain guidelines as a result of ambiguity. Participants were familiar with and recognised the majority of the concepts conveyed owing to previous exposure, mostly from healthcare facilities and the media. Financial constraints were identified as the biggest barrier to following the guidelines, while perceived enablers included receiving education on the guidelines as well as visual portrayal thereof.
Conclusion: Following field-testing, it is clear that the draft, revised SA-PFBDGs for the age group 12–36 months are appropriate. Minor rewording is required to enhance understanding. Effective dissemination of the guidelines through multiple communication platforms is recommended.
Keywords: Paediatric Food-based Dietary Guidelines breastfeeding, complementary feeding, consumer testing, infants, paediatric food-based dietary guidelines, young children
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