Impact of Healthy Snacks on Children’s Health: An Overview of Pilot Study

Authors: Acharya, J., van Teijlingen, E., Ellahi, B., Pariyar, B., Subedi, K. and Dangal, M.

Conference: Britain-Nepal Academic Council (BNAC) 16th Nepal Study Days

Dates: 16-17 April 2018


Publisher: BNAC


Background: Preschool-aged children of disadvantaged households in Nepal have a higher prevalence rate of undernutrition. The major contributing reasons are the inadequate maternal knowledge, existing taboos, and unscientific food recommendation practices.

Objective: This pilot study aimed: • to evaluates the impact of the rice pudding feeding programme on child health.

  • to calculate the costs of the preparation.

Methods: The study recruited children aged under-five who attended a day-care centre in the remote area of Nepal. Child weight, height, and MUAC (Mid-Upper Arm Circumference) were recorded before and after the rice pudding programme which lasted for 54 days. Data were analysed using SPSS software version 22.0.

Results: Of the 42 children, 18 were boys (43%) and 24 were girls (57%), 90% gained the weight whilst the weight of the remaining 10% of children stayed constant. Similarly, 55% of the children had grown in height and 78% had increased MUAC while 12% of children had slight increment. The estimated cost was USD 0.34 per day per child.

Conclusions: Regular healthy diet fulfils children’s nutritional need. It is important to consider the right dietary practice, including portion sizes, and community awareness about healthy diet and its impact on children’s health as well as sustainability of the provisions. The study was inexpensive and likely to be cost-effective.

Source: Manual