Submitted: 07 Dec 2013
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Health Promot Perspect. 2014;4(1): 54-60.
doi: 10.5681/hpp.2014.007
PMID: 25097837
PMCID: PMC4122044
  Abstract View: 998
  PDF Download: 494

Original Research

Caregivers’ Knowledge and Use of Fermented Foods for Infant and Young Children Feeding in a Rural Community of Odi, Gaut­eng Province, South Africa

Paul K Chelule 1 * , Mathilda M Mokgatle 1, Lindiwe I Zungu 2, Armelia Chaponda 2

1 School of Public Health, University of Limpopo (Medunsa Campus), South Africa
2 Department of Health Studies, University of South Africa, South Africa


Background: Fermented foods have positive health effects in adults and chil­dren if consumed regularly. However, lack of knowledge and perceptions to­wards fermented foods may limit their usage. This study aimed to assess the caregivers’ awareness and usage of fermented foods for feeding children in peri-urban/rural communities of Gauteng Province. Methods: A qualitative exploratory study was conducted in June, 2012, in a peri-urban/rural community to assess the awareness and use of fermented foods by child caregivers attending a local antenatal clinic through focus group discus­sions. Results: Thirty three caregivers participated in the study; however 29 indicated their demographic profiles. Four major themes that emerged from the analysis included knowledge on fermented foods, perceived benefits of fermentation, varied views about fermentation and feeding practices. Fermented foods that caregivers, their families and community members consume include ting, fat cakes, dumplings, sorghum beer and mageu. Findings also showed that children consumed fermented foods in form of soft ting porridge; and yoghurt, marketed as Activia and Danone commercial brands. Also, caregivers were not comfortable feeding their children with fermented foods, indicating their limited knowledge on the nutri­tional value of these foods. Conclusion: It is critical to promote caregivers’ knowledge and use of fer­mented foods for feeding infants and young children in South African rural communities.
Keywords: Nutritional quality, Lactic acid bacteria, Health benefits, Traditional foods, Probiotics, Fermentation
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