Assessing dietary intake among infants and toddlers 0-24 months of age in Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Nutr J. 2013 Apr 26;12:52. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-12-52.


Objective: To characterize food and nutrient intake and develop a population-specific food list to be used as a comprehensive dietary assessment tool for Baltimore infants and toddlers aged 0-24 months. The data were used to inform the Growing Leaps and Bounds (GLB) program, which promotes early obesity prevention among Baltimore infants and toddlers.

Research methods & procedures: A cross-sectional dietary survey using 24-hour recalls among randomly selected primary caregivers of infants and toddlers was conducted.

Results: Data were collected from 84 children, (response rate 61%) 45 boys; 39 girls. Mean daily energy intakes were 677 kcal, 988 kcal, and 1,123 kcal for children 0-6 months, 7-12 months and 13-24 months, respectively. Infants 0-6 months had higher percentage of energy from fat (48%) than infants 7-12 months (34%) and 13-24 months (31%). Mean daily intakes for all nutrients among 0-12 months old were ≥ Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI), while toddlers 13-24 months had inadequate vitamins A, D, and E intake. Breastfeeding occurred in 33% of infants and toddlers 0 to 6 months, while less than 3% of those aged 7 to 24 months were breastfed. A 104-item food list with eight food and drink categories was developed.

Conclusions: Infants were formula fed with a higher frequency than they were breastfed. The consumption of high-sugar and high-fat foods (e.g. sweetened drinks, French fries) increased with each age group, which can increase the risk of childhood obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Baltimore
  • Breast Feeding
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet Surveys*
  • Dietary Fats / analysis
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Formula
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Mental Recall
  • Nutrition Assessment*
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Vitamins / analysis


  • Dietary Fats
  • Vitamins