Nielsen, Annemette3; Michaelsen, Kim F.4; Holm, Lotte3
1 Section for Consumption, Bioethics and Governance, Department of Food and Resource Economics, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet2 Paediatric and International Nutrition, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet3 Section for Consumption, Bioethics and Governance, Department of Food and Resource Economics, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet4 Paediatric and International Nutrition, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet
the everyday reasoning behind complementary feeding decisions
Researchers question the implications of the way in which “motherhood” is constructed in public health discourse. Current nutritional guidelines for Danish parents of young children are part of this discourse. They are shaped by an assumed symbiotic relationship between the nutritional needs of the child and the interest and focus of the mother. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore mothers’ concerns and feeding practices in the context of everyday life. A total of 45 mothers with children either seven months old or 13 months old participated. The results showed that the need to find practical solutions for the whole family in a busy everyday life, to socialise the child into the family and society at large, and to create personal relief from the strain small children put on time and energy all served as socially acceptable reasons for knowingly departing from nutritional recommendations. These findings suggest that information about parental concerns is important both if we are to understand the successes and failures of existing health initiatives on child-feeding and if we are to plan effective interventions in the future. The study suggests that current Danish guidelines for infant feeding do not accord well with the ordinary daily concerns and practices of mothers. Future initiatives should be based on a more dynamic and socially contextualised perspective on motherhood.
Child Care in Practice, 2014, Vol 20, Issue 3, p. 329-346