The Household Food Security and Feeding Pattern of Preschool Children in North-Central Nigeria

Bosede Alice Omachi*, Annette Van Onselen, Unathi Kolanisi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Children’s feeding patterns and health outcomes are important determinants of any country’s food and nutrition security status. This study assessed the household food security and feeding patterns of preschoolers in Niger State, Nigeria. A cross-sectional descriptive design and a multi-stage sampling technique were employed to analyze 450 preschool children from selected local government areas. Household food security was measured using the HFIAS nine-item questionnaire, and feeding patterns were evaluated using the qualitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). The mean age of the preschoolers was 3.71 ± 0.80 years. A majority (61.30%) of the children consumed cereal-based products, while fruits and vegetables were the least consumed (16.40%). More than half (59.80%) of the preschoolers met their minimum dietary diversity. Almost all (98.80%) of the children were from food-insecure households, with 40.3% being severely food insecure. Parity, religion, and having a breadwinner and source of potable water were significantly associated with the adequacy of minimum dietary diversity (MDD) among the preschoolers (F value = 5.528, p ≤ 0.05). The contribution of poor feeding patterns and household food insecurity to the overall health outcome of preschoolers cannot be overlooked. Hence, nations must prioritize improving the availability, accessibility, and utilization of food to better meet the nutritional needs of preschool children.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4112
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • Niger State
  • Nigeria
  • feeding pattern
  • food insecure
  • minimum dietary diversity
  • preschoolers


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