Research Article|Articles in Press

Nutrition Education Package Focusing on Infant and Young Child Feeding in Tanzania



      To evaluate the effectiveness of a nutrition education package on feeding practices, nutrient intakes and growth of infants in rural Tanzania.


      Cluster-randomized controlled trial in 18 villages allocated to nutrition education package (n = 9) or routine health education (n = 9 villages), measured at baseline (6 months) and end of the trial (12 months).


      Mpwapwa district.


      Infants aged 6–12 months and their mothers.


      Six months of nutrition education package (group education, counseling, cooking demonstrations) and regular home visits by village health workers.

      Main Outcome Measure(s)

      Primary outcome measure was the mean change in length-for-age z-scores. Secondary outcomes included mean changes in weight-for-length z-scores (WLZ), intakes of energy, fat, iron and zinc, the proportion of children consuming foods from ≥ 4 food groups (ie, dietary diversity) and consuming the recommended number of semisolid/soft meals and snacks per day (ie, meal frequency).


      Multilevel mixed-effects regression models.


      Mean change in length-for-age z-scores (β = 0.20, P = 0.02), energy (in kcal) (β = 43.8, P = 0.02), and fat (in grams) (β =2.7, P = 0.03) intakes were significant in the intervention but not in the control group. There was no effect on iron and zinc intakes. More infants in the intervention than the control group consumed meals from ≥ 4 food groups (71.8% vs 45.3%, P = 0.002). The mean increase in meal frequency (β = 0.29, P = 0.02) and dietary diversity (β = 0.40, P = 0.01) were more significant in the intervention than control.

      Conclusions and Implications

      The nutrition education package is feasible and can be implemented with high coverage, demonstrating the potential to improve feeding practices, nutrient intake and growth in rural Tanzania.

      Key Words

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