The food choices of urban mothers for their pre-schoolers during times of illness were studied in relation to some selected-variables. An interview schedule was used to gather information on the food choices of 220 mothers from six nutritionally depressed barangays in Iloilo City. They were asked on the kind of diet they gave to their preschoolers when afflicted of any of the following: colds, diarrhea, fever, measles, cough, parasitism, skin diseases and other disorders.The results showed that generally the mothers did not modify the food of their preschoolers who have been sick. Of those who modified the diet of the preschoolers the amount given was lesser than the usual except when infested with parasites where they claimed that preschoolers lost their appetites. Tolerance to food and preferences of their children were the most common reasons of the mothers for their choice of food. Foods that would aggravate the condition were avoided by the mothers such as cold foods during colds, fever and cough, pork and vegetables during diarrhea: salted fish and shrimp "bagoong" pork and other crustaceans in case of skin disorders. Sweet foods were taboo for parasitism while sour and cold food were not given during bouts of colic.The multiple regression showed that the set of variables namely: age, education, health perception and family income significantly affected the food choices of the mothers for their preschoolers with diarrhea, measles, cough, colic and other diseases. Of the six variables studied, the perception of mothers after giving food was found to be significant in all the illnesses except in cases of measles.It was shown that among the variables studied, the perception of the mothers on the health of their family after giving the food of their choice was significant in all the illnesses except colic while family income was significant in all other diseases except measles.
To determine the kind of food given by mothers to members of the family when they are sick and the reasons for their food choices