Background: The poor infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices in developing countries require appropriate interventions targeted towards its improvement. Aims: To assess the impact of child feeding intervention on the maternal IYCF knowledge, perception and intention in Abakaliki Metropolis, Nigeria. Subjects and Methods: This quasi-experimental study adopted a mixed method approach and purposive sampling technique to recruited 100 eligible breastfeeding mother and child (6 – 12 months) pairs. The respondents were subjected to a one-day intervention which comprised 7 – hours detailed nutrition education on IYCF and hands-on-practical demonstration of indigenous complementary foods formulation/processing. Paired t-test was used to investigate the significant differences in the IYCF knowledge and perception before and after the intervention while focus group discussions identified their intended child feeding practices after the intervention. Results: Results reported a mild increase in the mean knowledge (13.71 + 3.67 to 15.79 + 3.97) and perception (16.86 + 4.36 to 17.21+ 2.96) score after the intervention. Qualitative data revealed mothers’ intention to stop; forceful feeding, offering processed drinks and early switching of breast. Furthermore, the respondents affirmed that they were furnished with the right knowledge/skills for enrichment and formulation of new/existing varieties of local complementary foods. Conclusion: The intervention increased maternal IYCF knowledge, perception and promoted good IYCF intentions. Increased nutrition education of the mothers should be encouraged as it facilitates the improvement in maternal IYCF knowledge, perception and feeding behaviors.
Keywords: Infant and young child feeding, knowledge, perception, intention, nutrition interventions.
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