Findings of an analysis of infant and young child feeding in Ghana using Optifood and focused ethnographic studies

This report presents the findings of a Focused Ethnographic Study (FES) and dietary analysis using the Optifood system that were carried out in two farming districts in Ghana (one in northern Ghana (Karaga District) and one in southern Ghana (Gomoa East District)). The FES is a formative/landscape analysis aimed at understanding the cultural, social and economic contexts of infant and child feeding behaviours from the household and marketing perspectives. Optifood is a linear programming software that applies mathematical optimization to dietary intake data to identify the lowest-cost combination of local foods that meets, or comes as close as possible to meeting, the nutrient needs of specific target groups.

The aim of the study was to identify a set of evidence-based, population-specific, food-based recommendations that can be promoted to improve the nutritional status of infants and young children in farming communities of Ghana.