Deployed by GAIN, a team of Savica researchers, including Senior Communication Researcher Vida Parady, worked together with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), using a large array of qualitative research methods, to understand current behaviors related to infant and young child feeding, and motivating factors. The field work took place in Sidoarjo, East Java.

The main findings included insights on breastfeeding and the use of infant formula, snacking and its role in reducing appetite for ìrealî food, and poor quality of complementary food in general. The majority of mothers breastfeeds their children, and many continue until far into the child’s second year. However, lack of understanding and low levels of confidence lead to mixing breast milk with infant formula, thus reducing the production of breast milk.

Any type of snack is provided freely to young children, whenever they ask for it. Not only does this lead to unhealthy eating habits, but it displaces both breast milk and healthy foods. Complementary foods are not sufficiently dense in the right nutrients for young children. All these factors contribute to poor growth and nutrition of young children. The results were used to develop a Behavior Change Communication (BCC) campaign, including TV ads and community activities.