A Study on Infant Weaning Practices Based on Maternal Education and Income Levels

양육인의 교육 및 수입정도에 따른 이유기 식생활관리에 대한 실태조사

  • Kim, Song-Suk (Division of Culinary Arts & Nutrition, Gumi College)
  • 김송숙 (구미1대학 호텔조리계열)
  • Published : 2005.08.01


The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship of maternal factors such as knowledge, attitude and practice of weaning with infant feeding. The subjects were 103 mothers visiting a public health center in Gumi, Kyungbook who filled out self-administered Questionnaires. First of all, about $90\%$ of the participants recognized the importance of complementary foods and proper weaning practices. The response for the recognition of the importance of infant weaning process showed a significant difference by education levels. Concerning an appropriate time for the introduction of weaning foods, $53\%$ of mothers had commenced weaning at age $4\~6$ months, while $38\%$ had done so at age $6\~8$ months. Approximately $76\%$ of mothers fed their babies without the knowledge of age-related weaning method and type of weaning foods. There were no statistical differences in maternal weaning knowledges between levels of education and house income. Mothers with higher levels of education and family income tended to show high perception scores regarding possibility of food allergies caused by baby foods. A demand for reliable sources and education related to nutritious weaning foods and weaning practices were strong in the group with higher education. Knowledge of weaning method and baby foods were obtained by 59 of the 103 mothers from mass media, 35 from friends caring babies, and 9 obtained advice from health professionals or family. Advice from the heath professionals was not the main influence on their decision to introduce weaning foods. Although commercial baby foods are the most commonly used as first weaning foods, those with higher education groups considered commercial baby food are not nutritionally better than home-maid foods. The current findings suggest to us that to improve weaning process, mothers should be educated on the selection and preparation of nutritious, balanced weaning foods and on good weaning practices. It is advised that supportive health professionals from community public health centers should lead the education of infant feeding practices based on maternal characteristics and on basic food and nutritional knowledge.


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