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Table 5 Most cited reasons why mothers/caregivers feed their children specific foods

From: Social circumstances and cultural beliefs influence maternal nutrition, breastfeeding and child feeding practices in South Africa

Specific foods given to children Reasons for feeding children with the food type Percentage of mothers/caregivers
Porridge good for babies 23
helps child to grow well and become big and strong 29
for baby’s health, keeps baby strong, gives energy and strength 31
just giving, its breakfast, easy to prepare and its cheap 10
Niknaks snacks child enjoys or likes the food 66
calming the baby and is readily available 31
Potatoes good for children and they like the food 51
for the child to get energy, be strong and grow well 22
its healthy food for children 22
Carrots good for growth, health, strength and eyesight of a child 85
just giving when available 10
Umphokoqo child enjoys it 35
for the child to grow and become big 18
to gain energy, strengthen the body and become strong 35
Milk healthy food for growth 59
good for the baby 24
gives child energy and strength 18
Butternut just giving because it is good for babies 21
for the growth of the child and it gives energy 50
healthy food 21
Vegetables good for health and growth of children 83
just giving if available 7
Purity for growth and makes child strong 36
its healthy 27
good for babies 36
Brown bread good for the baby 18
that is the food readily available and children likes it 36
for energy and strength of the body 45
Fruits fruits are healthy and are good for growth of baby 100
Noodles good for the baby because it is soft and easy to eat 33
healthy and growth of baby 55
child loves the food 11
Rice child enjoys the food 25
just giving and for the baby to eat 26
good for growth and the child will be strong 50