African Journal of
Food Science

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Food Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0794
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJFS
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 978

Full Length Research Paper

Feeding practices and nutrition status of children aged 0-59 months from Njombe and Geita, Tanzania

Hassan T. Berenge
  • Hassan T. Berenge
  • Department of Policy Planning and Management, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P. O. Box 3035, Morogoro, Tanzania.
  • Google Scholar
Happiness S. Muhimbula
  • Happiness S. Muhimbula
  • Department of Food Technology, Nutrition and Consumer Science, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P. O. Box 3006, Morogoro, Tanzania.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 08 September 2022
  •  Accepted: 20 February 2023
  •  Published: 31 August 2023


This study aimed to assess infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices, child nutrition status, and their variations within ethnic groups in regions with high prevalence rates of stunting. A cross-sectional study was conducted on a sample of 150 mother-child pairs that were randomly selected within regions of high stunting rates (Njombe and Geita) in Tanzania. Socio-demographic, IYCF practices, and anthropometric data (HAZ, WAZ, and WHZ) were measured and further analysed in IBM SPPS Statistics 21. In general, major ethnic groups in the Njombe district had a higher rate of stunting (53.8% vs. 37.6%; p = 0.5) than major ethnic groups in the Bukombe district. Infants aged 0-11.9 months were more stunted than other age groups. Both had optimal IYCF practices, where 46.9% of infants initiated breast milk within 1 h after birth; minimum dietary diversity was 11.6%, and only 9.1% of children in Bukombe district had a minimum acceptable diet. The major ethnic group in Njombe had a mean HAZ of -1.85, while the major ethnic group in Bukombe had a mean HAZ of -0.91. This indicates the need for initiating and expanding multicomponent nutrition interventions based on ethnic features allied with IYCF practises and child nutrition status improvement.


Key words: Nutrition status, stunting, ethnicity, infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices, underweighting.