Low-incomeFilipino mothers’ cultural perceptions of healthy mothers and children do not align with standard nutritional recommendations

Authors : Maria Sofia Valencia Amarra, Babylyn Cayabyab

DOI : 10.18231/j.jchm.2022.036

Volume : 9

Issue : 4

Year : 2022

Page No : 191-198

Background: The study explored cultural concepts of maternal and child health among low-income Filipino mothers, to serve as basis for planning health and nutrition education programs that will achieve behavior change. The objectives were to a) Characterize the following concepts from the point of view of mothers: qualities of a strong healthy mother; qualities of a strong healthy child; and proper nutrition practices to raise strong healthy children; b) Identify concepts that are consistent with good nutrition practices vs. concepts that need to be explained and clarified or corrected, to serve as input for nutrition education programs.
Materials and Methods: In-depth interviews were conducted among 26 mothers aged 20 to 35 years with children aged 3 to 12 years. Respondents were asked the following questions: a) What do you think are the qualities of a strong healthy child/mom? b) Complete the following sentence: A strong healthy child /mom is ______; c) In your opinion, what nutrition practices are important to have a strong healthy child during this pandemic?
Results: Thematic analysis revealed most mothers believed 1) a strong healthy mother is one who is mentally strong and resilient in the face of problems; 2) a strong healthy child is one who is physically engaged and interacts actively with his/her surroundings; 3) while a healthy diet is important, the best nutrition practice to promote child health is to provide daily vitamin and mineral supplements.
Conclusion: Filipino mothers possess cultural health concepts that are not consistent with standard nutritional recommendations.

Keywords: Mothers, Health beliefs, Children, Nutrition, Diet, Qualitative.

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