Factors influencing Tanzanian mothers’ feeding practices for toddlers: A predictive correlational study


feeding practice
nutritional status
health promotion
preschool child
social support
regression analysis

How to Cite

Bukuku, D. D., Prasopkittikun, T., Payakkaraung, S., & Lenwari, C. (2023). Factors influencing Tanzanian mothers’ feeding practices for toddlers: A predictive correlational study. Belitung Nursing Journal, 9(6), 603–610. https://doi.org/10.33546/bnj.2974
Google Scholar

Link to Google Scholar

Accepted for publication: 2023-11-25
Peer reviewed: Yes

Related articles in

Search Relations - Article by Author(s)

Share this article on:


Background: Feeding practices are crucial in ensuring toddlers receive an appropriate and varied diet to support their growth and development. In Tanzania, maternal feeding practices for young children are inadequate, and there is limited research on the influencing factors.

Objective: This study aimed to examine the factors influencing Tanzanian mothers’ feeding practices for toddlers, utilizing the health promotion model as the theoretical framework.

Methods: A predictive correlational design was employed, with a random sample of 399 mothers who brought their toddlers for health supervision at a tertiary care hospital in the United Republic of Tanzania. Data on personal information, depression, perceived benefits, perceived barriers, perceived self-efficacy, social support, situational influences, and maternal feeding practices were collected using self-administered questionnaires between September 2021 and November 2021. Descriptive statistics, correlations, and multiple regression analysis were employed for the analysis.

Results: All the factors examined in the study accounted for 18.9% of the variance explained in maternal feeding practices. Significantly, only two factors, perceived self-efficacy (β = 0.32, p <0.001) and situational influences (β = 0.24, p <0.001), could predict maternal feeding practices.

Conclusion: Perceived self-efficacy and situational influences emerged as the primary influencing factors on maternal feeding practices for toddlers. Pediatric nurses should address these modifiable factors when developing nursing interventions and strategies to promote a healthy nutritional status in toddlers.



Copyright (c) 2023 Debora Dyson Bukuku, Tassanee Prasopkittikun, Sudaporn Payakkaraung, Chayapa Lenwari

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Article Metrics

Total views 152 [Abstract: 49 | PDF: 102 | XML: 1 ]


Download data is not yet available.

PlumX Metrics

Declaration of Conflicting Interest

The authors have no conflict of interest to disclose.




The first author would like to thank the Postgraduate Scholarship Mahidol University for partial support of the graduate study. Special thanks are also extended to all the participants who dedicated their time to this study.

Authors’ Contributions

All authors contributed substantially from conception to the finalization of this study. DDB contributed to the conception, design, data collection, data analysis, and the first draft of the manuscript. TP contributed to the manuscript’s conception, design, data analysis, and finalization. SP and CC contributed to the conception, design, and data analysis. All authors approved the final draft of the manuscript.

Data Availability

The data presented in this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

Declaration of Use of AI in Scientific Writing

Nothing to declare.


Alflah, Y. M., & Alrashidi, M. A. (2023). Severe acute malnutrition and its consequences among malnourished children. Journal of Clinical Pediatrics Research, 2(1), 1-5. https://doi.org/10.37191/Mapsci-2583-4525-2(1)-011

Alum, D. (2022). Trials of improved practices complemented with modified recipes to improve dietary diversity of women and children in farming households in Kapchorwa, Uganda [Unplished Master Thesis, Makerere University. http://makir.mak.ac.ug/handle/10570/10095

Anato, A., Baye, K., Tafese, Z., & Stoecker, B. J. (2020). Maternal depression is associated with child undernutrition: A cross‐sectional study in Ethiopia. Maternal & Child Nutrition, 16(3), e12934. https://doi.org/10.1111/mcn.12934

Armstrong, R. A. (2019). Is there a large sample size problem? Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, 39(3), 129-130. https://doi.org/10.1111/opo.12618

Asim, M., Ahmed, Z. H., Hayward, M. D., & Widen, E. M. (2020). Prelacteal feeding practices in Pakistan: A mixed-methods study. International Breastfeeding Journal, 15, 53. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13006-020-00295-8

Bahorski, J. S., Childs, G. D., Loan, L. A., Azuero, A., Morrison, S. A., Chandler-Laney, P. C., Hodges, E. A., & Rice, M. H. (2019). Self-efficacy, infant feeding practices, and infant weight gain: An integrative review. Journal of Child Health Care, 23(2), 286-310. https://doi.org/10.1177/1367493518788466

Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York, NY, US: W H Freeman/Times Books/ Henry Holt & Co.

Belete, Y., Awraris, W., & Muleta, M. (2017). Appropriate complementary feeding practice was relatively low and associated with mother’s education, family income, and mother’s age: A community based cross-sectional study in Northern Ethiopia. Journal of Nutritional Health & Food Engineering, 6(2), 29-35. https://doi.org/10.15406/jnhfe.2017.06.00191

Berhanu, Z., Alemu, T., & Argaw, D. (2019). Predictors of inappropriate complementary feeding practice among children aged 6 to 23 months in Wonago District, South Ethiopia, 2017; case control study. BMC Pediatrics, 19, 146. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12887-019-1523-6

Brislin, R. W. (1970). Back-translation for cross-cultural research. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 1(3), 185-216. https://doi.org/10.1177/135910457000100301

Cartmill, M. K., Blackmore, I., Sarange, C., Mbeyu, R., Cheupe, C., Cheupe, J., Kamau-Mbuthia, E., Iannotti, L., Wamukota, A., & Humphries, A. (2022). Fish and complementary feeding practices for young children: Qualitative research findings from coastal Kenya. PloS One, 17(3), e0265310. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0265310

Daniels, L. A. (2019). Feeding practices and parenting: A pathway to child health and family happiness. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 74(Suppl. 2), 29-42. https://doi.org/10.1159/000499145

Ernawati, Y., Sudargo, T., & Lusmilasari, L. (2016). Self-efficacy related to parental feeding behaviour in toddler besides social support and dependent-care agency. International Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health, 3(5), 1247-1254. https://doi.org/10.18203/2394-6040.ijcmph20161393

Fall, C. H. D., Sachdev, H. S., Osmond, C., Restrepo-Mendez, M. C., Victora, C., Martorell, R., Stein, A. D., Sinha, S., Tandon, N., & Adair, L. (2015). Association between maternal age at childbirth and child and adult outcomes in the offspring: A prospective study in five low-income and middle-income countries (COHORTS collaboration). The Lancet Global Health, 3(7), e366-e377. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(15)00038-8

Govender, I., Rangiah, S., Kaswa, R., & Nzaumvila, D. (2021). Malnutrition in children under the age of 5 years in a primary health care setting. South African Family Practice, 63(1), 5337. https://doi.org/10.4102%2Fsafp.v63i1.5337

Hair, J. F., Black, W. C., Babin, B. J., & Anderson, R. E. (2010). Multivariate data analysis (7th ed.). New York: Pearson Education.

Khodaveisi, M., Omidi, A., Farokhi, S., & Soltanian, A. R. (2017). The effect of Pender’s health promotion model in improving the nutritional behavior of overweight and obese women. International Journal of Community Based Nursing and Midwifery, 5(2), 165-174.

Kinabo, J., Mamiro, P., Mwanri, A., Bundala, N., Kulwa, K., Picado, J., Ntwenya, J., Nombo, A., Mzimbiri, R., & Ally, F. (2019). Adequacy of macro and micronutrients in infants and young children’s diets in Zanzibar, Tanzania. African Health Sciences, 19(4), 3063-3077. https://doi.org/10.4314/ahs.v19i4.28

Kinabo, J. L., Mwanri, A. W., Mamiro, P. S., Kulwa, K., Bundala, N. H., Picado, J., Msuya, J., Ntwenya, J., Nombo, A., & Mzimbiri, R. (2017). Infant and young child feeding practices on Unguja Island in Zanzibar, Tanzania: A ProPAN based analysis. Tanzania Journal of Health Research, 19(3), 1-9. https://doi.org/10.4314/thrb.v19i3.5

Lusmilasari, L., Chaiyawat, W., & Rodcumdee, B. (2015). The development of the parental feeding behaviours questionnaire for Indonesian parents with toddlers: Preliminary result. International Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health, 2(4), 558-565. https://doi.org/10.18203/2394-6040.ijcmph20151047

Ministry of Health Community Development Gender Elderly and Children (MoHCDGEC) [Tanzania Mainland], Ministry of Health (MoH) [Zanzibar], Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre (TFNC), National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Office of the Chief Government Statistician (OCGS) [Zanzibar], & UNICEF. (2018). Tanzania National Nutrition Survey using SMART methodology (TNNS) 2018. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: MoHCDGEC, MoH, TFNC, NBS, OCGS, and UNICEF.

Nankinga, O., Kwagala, B., & Walakira, E. J. (2019). Maternal employment and child nutritional status in Uganda. PloS One, 14(12), e0226720. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0226720

Palupi, E., & Chaiyawat, W. (2016). Factors predicting maternal feeding behaviors for toddlers in Java Island, Indonesia. Journal of Health Research, 30(1), 1-8. https://doi.org/10.14456/jhr.2016.1

Pender, N. J., Murdaugh, C. L., & Parsons, M. A. (2006). Health promotion in nursing practice (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall

Pradanie, R., Diyan Rachmawati, P., & Cahyani, M. D. (2020). Factors associated with mothers’ behaviors in selecting complementary feeding in Surabaya, Indonesia. Nurse Media Journal of Nursing, 10(3), 306-331. https://doi.org/10.14710/nmjn.v10i3.27706

Radloff, L. S. (1977). The CES-D scale: A self-report depression scale for research in the general population. Applied Psychological Measurement, 1(3), 385-401. https://doi.org/10.1177/014662167700100306

Right to Education Initiative. (2015). Right to education country factsheet - Tanzania and Zanzibar. https://www.right-to-education.org/resource/right-education-country-factsheet-tanzania-and-zanzibar

Sæther, K. M., Berg, R. C., Fagerlund, B. H., Glavin, K., & Jøranson, N. (2023). First‐time parents' experiences related to parental self‐efficacy: A scoping review. Research in Nursing & Health, 46(1), 101-112. https://doi.org/10.1002/nur.22285

Scaglioni, S., De Cosmi, V., Ciappolino, V., Parazzini, F., Brambilla, P., & Agostoni, C. (2018). Factors influencing children’s eating behaviours. Nutrients, 10(6), 706. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10060706

Sousa, V. D., Driessnack, M., & Mendes, I. A. C. (2007). An overview of research designs relevant to nursing: Part 1: Quantitative research designs. Rev Latino-am Enfermagem, 15(3), 502-507. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0104-11692007000300022

Tanzania Food and Nutrition Center (TFNC). (2013). Infant and young child feeding national guidelines. https://www.tfnc.go.tz/uploads/publications/sw1514892995-GUIDELINE%20-IYCF%202013.pdf

Vitta, B. S., Benjamin, M., Pries, A. M., Champeny, M., Zehner, E., & Huffman, S. L. (2016). Infant and young child feeding practices among children under 2 years of age and maternal exposure to infant and young child feeding messages and promotions in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Maternal & Child Nutrition, 12, 77-90. https://doi.org/10.1111/mcn.12292

Wilson, S. M., Sikkema, K. J., Watt, M. H., & Masenga, G. G. (2015). Psychological symptoms among obstetric fistula patients compared to gynecology outpatients in Tanzania. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 22, 605-613. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12529-015-9466-2

Woldetensay, Y. K., Belachew, T., Ghosh, S., Kantelhardt, E. J., Biesalski, H. K., & Scherbaum, V. (2021). The effect of maternal depressive symptoms on infant feeding practices in rural Ethiopia: Community based birth cohort study. International Breastfeeding Journal, 16, 27. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13006-021-00375-3

Yamane, T. (1967). Statistics: An introductory analysis (2nd ed.). New York: Harper and Row.

Young, B. E., & Krebs, N. F. (2013). Complementary feeding: Critical considerations to optimize growth, nutrition, and feeding behavior. Current Pediatrics Reports, 1, 247-256. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40124-013-0030-8

Zimet, G. D., Dahlem, N. W., Zimet, S. G., & Farley, G. K. (1988). The multidimensional scale of perceived social support. Journal of Personality Assessment, 52(1), 30-41. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327752jpa5201_2

Zimet, G. D., Powell, S. S., Farley, G. K., Werkman, S., & Berkoff, K. A. (1990). Psychometric characteristics of the multidimensional scale of perceived social support. Journal of Personality Assessment, 55(3-4), 610-617. https://doi.org/10.1080/00223891.1990.9674095

Readers are able to give us their valuable feedbacks here. The comments will be reviewed by the editors and then published here. Important Note: The "Comments" related to the Galley Proof PDF must NOT be submitted via this form. Authors should submit their comments on their galley proofs only via system