Objective: To determine the nutrient and food intakes of healthy, white infants from families of middle and upper socioeconomic status and to compare intakes to current recommendations.
Design: Using an incomplete random block design, we interviewed 98 mother-infant pairs longitudinally when infants were 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, 20, and 24 months old. Data obtained included 24-hour dietary recalls, usual food intake, and food likes and dislikes.
Setting: Interviews were conducted in the mother's home by registered dietitians. Subjects resided in two urban areas of Tennessee.
Subjects: Of the original 98 subjects, 94 completed the 2-year study.
Results: Mean energy and nutrient intakes generally met or exceeded the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Exceptions were zinc and vitamin D, which were each below 100% of the RDA at 9 of the 10 data points, and vitamin E, which was below the RDA in the infants' second year. Fat intake decreased from more than 40% of energy in the first 6 months to 30% to 32% from 10 to 24 months. One third of the infants drank reduced-fat milks at 12 months and more than half drank them at 24 months. Although infants ate a variety of foods, vegetables often were the least favorite foods. A variety of dairy products provided calcium for the infant but lacked vitamin D.
Conclusions: Several nutritional issues about infant feeding before 2 years of age arose. Low intakes of zinc, vitamin D, and vitamin E were observed. In the second year, low fat intake, use of reduced-fat milks, and dislike of vegetables were areas of concern.