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Mothers, Focus groups, Transients and migrants, Child nutrition sciences.



  1. Kilanowski, Jill F. PhD, APRN, CPNP


Purpose: To describe the meaning of food in the family life of migrant farmworker mothers; specifically to describe their understanding of the relationship of dietary intake to health, the environmental contributors to their families' dietary intake, and the use of foods in the commemoration of family occasions.


Methods: The PRECEDE-PROCEED self-management model guided the qualitative research study, which used short, guided interviews conducted at Midwest migrant camps. A sample of 43 Mexican mothers answered three interview questions, the answers to which were transcribed verbatim, read, sorted, and arranged into categories and then themes. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the data.


Results: The themes identified from the interviews were a) meal cost, b) lack of preparation time, c) distance to store locations, d) the importance of traditional ethnic foods, and e) limited knowledge of healthy food choices.


Clinical implications: Pediatric nurses should remember that before they dispense nutritional anticipatory guidance, situational and cultural assessments are needed. Because vulnerable populations such as migrant farmworkers have limited resources to follow nurses' teachings, nurses need to become knowledgeable about what is available in the community to support these families. In addition, facility appointment times may need to be expanded to accommodate their long work hours, and modes of transportation need to be evaluated. Recommendations for anticipatory guidance, prescriptions, treatments, and over-the-counter items need to consider cost and ease in purchase, and cultural acceptability.