Objective Appropriate and timely complementary feeding practices are fundamental to a child’s growth, health, and development during the first 2 years of life. This study aimed to understand (1) Ghanaian mother’s complementary feeding practices, and (2) their perceived and observed impacts of complementary feeding on their children. Methods Ghanaian mothers with children 4–24 months of age were recruited from four communities in the Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem district in the Central Region of Ghana (n = 99). A qualitative methodological approach with focus group interview discussions was used. Eleven focus group interviews were conducted, and were audio recorded and transcribed. The audio transcriptions were coded and analyzed into pertinent themes, meta-themes, and theoretical concepts. Results Over 80 % (85) of mothers reported poor knowledge about the effects of complementary feeding on their children and 45 % (45) of the children were undernourished, indicating inappropriate complementary feeding practices. Some mothers held misconceptions about the effect of food on children’s health. Four overarching themes were identified: (1) mothers’ background knowledge about food, child health and growth outcomes, (2) mothers’ motivation in feeding their children, (3) barriers to feeding, (4) foods mothers offered their children. Conclusion for Practice Nutrition education on complementary feeding is needed for Ghanaian mothers. Health facilities and community outreach programs could be a venue to provide education to mothers regarding infant and young child feeding practices in Ghana.