Alternative terms for these resources that have been used in the literature are: "resources for care" (Engle, Menon and Haddad 1999; Basnet et al. 2020), "caregiver capabilities" (Zongrone et al. 2018), "maternal capabilities" (Matare et al. 2021), and "maternal capacities" (Ickes et al. 2018). While caregivers can be any gender or age, much of the literature refers primarily to mothers.

The table below describes 12 Caregiver Resources that have been studied in relation to child feeding and nutrition outcomes.

Caregiver Resources definitions

Caregiver Resources Definition
Mental health A state of cognitive and emotional well-being in which an individual can realize their abilities, cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community (WHO 2004; Engle et al. 1999).
Healthy stress levels The ability to regulate stress which is any type of change that causes physical, emotional or psychological strain (adapted from WHO 2021)
Perceived physical health Caregivers’ own perceptions of their physical health status in relation to performing daily activities, including caregiving (adapted from Engle et al. 1999).
Safety and security Feeling safe from domestic abuse (including physical, psychological, and/or sexual abuse) and violence outside the home, including armed conflict, displacement, kidnapping, and personal attack (WHO 2018).
Equitable gender attitudes Attitudes that influence women’s and men’s acceptance of equitable or egalitarian gender norms (Waszak 2001).
Self-efficacy Belief in one’s ability to influence events affecting the child’s health (Bandura et al. 1998; Bandura et al. 2012; Engle et al. 1999).
Social support Resources and interactions with others (perceived and received) that may influence a person’s behavior or ability to cope with a problem (Heaney & Israel 2008; Simoni et al. 2011; Tay et al. 2013; Willis & Fegan 2001; Uchino 2004; Engle et al. 1999). These include emotional, informational, and instrumentally supportive behaviors (Willis & Fegan 2001).
Time sufficiency Perception of the amount of time needed to perform roles, including time trade-offs and time use patterns (Engle et al. 1999).
Autonomy* The ability to make decisions on one's own, to control one's own body and to determine how financial and material resources will be used, without needing to consult with or ask permission from another person (Brunson 2009).
Education* The highest level of education achieved.
Knowledge and attitudes* Ways of thinking or feeling about a topic that are context and program specific.
Nutritional status* An individual's health condition as it is influenced by the intake and utilization of nutrients, assessed through anthropometry, micronutrient markets and dietary patterns (National Academies 1989).

NOTE: * denotes Caregiver Resources not included in this toolkit

Source: adapted from Martin, Zongrone et al., unpublished. Measuring Caregiver Resources during the complementary feeding period: a scoping review of studies in low- and lower middle-income countries

Measures of four resources presented by Engle, Menon, and Haddad et al. (1999) are not included in the toolkit. Nutritional status and education are well documented measures; education should be assessed using context-appropriate educational terms. Autonomy and control of financial and material resources are discussed in multiple reviews and research providing information on measurement approaches. Measurement of relevant knowledge and beliefs vary extensively depending on the goal of the program or research.