Exploring Food-Related Barriers and Impact on Preschool-Aged Children in Pokhara, Nepal: A Qualitative Review
Publisher: Nepal Participatory Action Network (NEPAN)
This study explores knowledge, food beliefs and cultural environment about food recommendation trend among the poor mothers related to feeding of their off-spring.
Mothers’ insufficient knowledge including the existing food beliefs and attitudes are one of the underlying causes of nutritional problems in Nepal. The study has set out the following objectives: identify major barriers for recommending healthy food for preschool-aged children; assess knowledge and beliefs about nutritious food amongst mothers; assess health-seeking behaviour for rural and urban children. This study used qualitative focus group methods where fifty participants took part in seven focus groups discussions. The data were thematically analysed. The study identifi ed fi ve themes: poverty, knowledge, policy, misbeliefs about breastfeeding and food beliefs and cultural influences. Many participants thought that children are generally at risk due to poverty, poor knowledge and strong-rooted cultural practices and beliefs. This study found ‘diversified views’ as a major barrier to food and health-seeking behaviours. However, spiritual healers highlighted the importance of linking beliefs with cultural and religious norms and values.
This research suggests that a public health approach is urgently required to address the nutritional problems associated with food behaviours and the major barriers to maternal knowledge and food belief