Open Access Open Badges Research article

Factors in the management of feeding in nursery school children as perceived by their mothers in rural Bondo County, Kenya

Allan R Were1, Felix N Kioli1, Kennedy Onkware2, Elizabeth O Onyango3, Sussy Gumo4 and Collins Ouma5*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Maseno University, Maseno, Kenya

2 Centre for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance, Masinde Muliro University of Science & Technology, Kakamega, Kenya

3 Department of Public Health, Maseno University, Maseno, Kenya

4 Department of Religion, Theology and Philosophy, Maseno University, Maseno, Kenya

5 Department of Biomedical Sciences and Technology, Maseno University, Maseno, Kenya

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BMC International Health and Human Rights 2013, 13:47  doi:10.1186/1472-698X-13-47

Published: 15 November 2013



The effects of malnutrition on health status and survival of children has been the subject of extensive research for several decades. Malnutrition affects physical growth, cognitive development of children, morbidity and mortality. The current study was an exploratory survey that focused on factors affecting feeding of nursery school children as perceived by their mothers in a rural setting in Usigu Division of Bondo County, Kenya.


The sampling frame was mothers whose children were in Kanyibok, Sanda and Usenge nursery schools. Purposive sampling methods were used to draw a total of 108 respondents. In a logistic regression model, bad management of feeding was the dependent variable while factors perceived to affect management of feeding were the independent variables.


Married mothers were more likely to manage good feeding practices (OR, 0.34, 95% CI, 0.21-0.76; P = 0.022) relative to those who were single or widowed. Additional analyses showed that low education levels (OR, 7.33, 95% CI, 3.37-12.91; P = 0.023), younger mothers (OR, 6.04, 95% CI, 3.22-9.68; P = 0.029) and mothers engaged in business (OR, 4.02, 95% CI, 2.11-7.85; P = 0.027) increased their likelihood of not feeding the pre-school children. Majority of the children who ate the main meals in other houses belonged to young mothers in the age category of 15–29 years. Further analyses demonstrated that if the order of serving food was to the children first, then they had high likelihood of having good feeding relative to when the father was served first (OR, 0.22, 95% CI, 0.14-0.61; P = 0.011).


Based on these findings, there is an urgent need for sensitization of the mothers on the management of feeding of these pre-school children in Bondo County. It is hoped that relevant interventions would then be designed with the view of managing children feeding in such rural settings as in Bondo County in Kenya.

Feeding practices; Children; Mothers; Rural Bondo