RESEARCH PAPER
Infant feeding knowledge and practices among parents of infants aged 4-12 months in Poland: an online cross-sectional survey study
 
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Department of Paediatrics, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Agata Klementyna Stróżyk   

Department of Paediatrics, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
Submission date: 2021-11-08
Final revision date: 2022-02-05
Acceptance date: 2022-02-06
Online publication date: 2022-03-17
 
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Introduction:
A better understanding of current infant feeding practices and factors influencing them may improve the implementation of infant feeding guidelines in the future.

Aim:
To assess the confidence in knowledge and knowledge of selected infant feeding statements, and to assess selected infant feeding practices among parents of infants aged 4 to 12 months.

Material and methods:
A cross-sectional study was conducted in Poland. Self-selected parents were recruited through the Internet. Data from 6934 responders, almost exclusively (99.2%) mothers, were analysed.

Results and discussion:
Almost 68.8% of mothers assessed their knowledge of infant complementary feeding practices as sufficient. In line with current recommendations, most mothers agreed that fruits are a good source of vitamins for infants (75.3%); and disagreed that fruit juices should be given to infants younger than age 1 year (61.1%); plant-based beverages are an appropriate alternative to breast-milk substitutes for infants (59.9%); potentially allergenic foods should be included into infant diet only after other complementary food had been introduced (68.4%), and, the introduction of other potentially allergenic foods should be delayed, if symptoms following the introduction of a new food occur (55.7%). However, some participants, albeit minority, reported the introduction of plant-based beverages (12.5%), cow’s milk (16.7%), and fruit juices to infants younger than 12 months (15.8%), thus, it was against the current recommendations.

Conclusions:
A discrepancy exists between the confidence in knowledge and knowledge of selected infant feeding statements and feeding practices among Polish mothers of infants aged 4 to 12 months.

FUNDING
This study was performed within scientific activities of the Medical University of Warsaw and was partially supported by the Nutricia Foundation. The Nutricia Foundation contributed to the development of the study questionnaire and supported the online data collection. The Nutricia Foundation had no role in data analysis, interpretation, and its dissemination.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Authors declare that AH, PD, and HS have participated as speakers for Nutricia. HS serves as a scientific advisory board member of the Nutricia Foundation. AS has nothing to declare.
 
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