Beverage Consumption Patterns among Infants and Young Children (0⁻47.9 Months): Data from the Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study, 2016

Nutrients. 2018 Jun 26;10(7):825. doi: 10.3390/nu10070825.


(1) Background: Data about early life beverage intake patterns is sparse. We describe beverage patterns among infants and young children from the Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS) 2016. (2) Methods: FITS 2016 is a cross-sectional survey of U.S. parents/caregivers of children 0⁻47.9 months (n = 3235). Food and beverage intakes were collected by 24-h dietary recalls to describe beverage consumption patterns including: a) prevalence of consumption, per capita and per consumer intake, b) contribution to intake of calories and key nutrients, and c) prevalence according to eating occasions. (3) Results: Breast milk and infant formula were commonly consumed among <12-month-olds. Among 12⁻23.9-month-olds, the most commonly consumed beverage was whole milk (67% consuming), followed by 100% juice (50% consuming). Plain drinking water was consumed by 70% of 12⁻23.9-month-olds and 78% of 24⁻47.9-month-olds. Among 12⁻47.9-month-olds, milks provided more energy and key nutrients than all other beverages. Across eating occasions, sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption, especially in the form of fruit-flavored drinks, was higher among 24⁻47.9 compared to 12⁻23.9-month-olds. Only 23⁻32% of &ge;12-month-olds consumed milk or water at lunch or dinner. (4) Conclusions: Opportunities exist to improve beverage patterns. Future interventions may benefit from focusing on timely introduction of age-appropriate beverages and reducing consumption of SSBs.

Keywords: FITS 2016; Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study; beverage intake; breastfeeding; infants; juice; milk; preschoolers; sugar-sweetened beverages; toddlers; water.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Beverages* / adverse effects
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet Surveys
  • Drinking
  • Energy Intake
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Fruit and Vegetable Juices
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Behavior*
  • Infant Formula
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Male
  • Meals
  • Milk, Human
  • Nutritional Status
  • Nutritive Value
  • Snacks
  • Time Factors
  • United States