Determining nutritional status and food intake patterns of pre-school children in Empangeni, South Africa
Napier, Carin E.
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The major goal of the assessment was to establish the prevalence of child malnutrition in two sampled pre-schools, in order to determine the resources and approaches required for an appropriate response to the concern, and with a view to finding sustainable solutions. The means of anthropometric measurement tools concurrently with socio-demographic and food frequency questionnaires were applied in conducting the survey to evaluate the food intake patterns of the 1-3 year old pre-school children. The cross-examination of the pre-school cycle menus was analysed. The combined results of the tools applied in data collection were also used to classify nutrient deficiencies of the sample group as well as detecting specific dietary requirements comparing with the World Health Organisation’s standards. The findings of the assessment showed that malnutrition was prevalent among the 1-3 year olds in the sampled pre-schools and that these conditions resulted from persistent household and pre-school food insecurity in quantity, quality and diversity. The food intake patterns were inconsistent as in some instances children consumed either high or low intakes of macro or micro nutrients and that consumption habits were incompatible with required nutrient RDAs per child. The ultimate objective of the assessment was to form the core for implementing a more in-depth experimental study aimed at scientifically developing novel food products out of integrating traditional and modern processed foods. The researcher’s primary objective is to improve the pre-school feeding menus in the hope of adding value to the nutritional status of the target population.
Mwadiwa, R.J.; Kearney, Prof. J.E. and Napier, Prof. C. 2016. Determining nutritional status and food intake patterns of pre-school children in Empangeni, South Africa. African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure. 5(1): 1-12.