Ndiku M, Jaceldo-Siegl K, Sabaté J. Dietary patterns of children < 5 years old in Mwingi and Makueni districts of Ukambani region, eastern Kenya. Af J Food Ag Nutr Dev 2010;37:2804-2817. ( 0/2010 )
ABSTRACT A cross -sectional study was conducted in the Ukambani region of Eastern Kenya to describe dietary patterns of infants and preschool children. The purpose of the studywas to provide region specific data on dietary patterns of children living in Mwingi(MW) a region that mainly grows pearl millet and Makueni (MA), a region that growsmaize. A modified rapid, knowledge, practice and coverage (KPC) questionnaire anda 24-hr dietary recall were used to collect the data. A total of 403 households (201 –MW, 202 – MA) were surveyed from four randomly selected divisions of MW andMA districts. This yielded 629 surrogate 24-hr dietary recalls with 314 children fromMW district and 315 children from MA district (49% boys and 51% girls). Intake ofnutrients and food groups were compared between the two districts using average, grains contributed 62-68 percent of total energy intake in both districts. Mean daily energy intake (mean ±SD) for all the children was 1056 ± 553 Kcal. Daily energy intake (1130 ± 595 Kcal) in MW children was 15% higher compared to MA children (983 ± 499 Kcal, p = 0.002). Boys had a 12% higher daily energy intake than girls (p = 0.005). The contribution to total energy from grains was 27% higher in MW children (p = 0.0001) and breast milk contribution to total energy intake was 50% less in MW children (p < 0.001). Consumption of fruits and vegetables was significantly lower in MW children (p<0.0001). Intakes of carbohydrate, protein and iron were higher in MW children and vitamin A intake was lower. Fat intake was the same in both districts for these children. Gender and geographical differences were observed in diets of children in Ukambani region, with the most prominent being the type and amount of cereal intake.