Longitudinal study of nutrient and food intakes of infants aged 2 to 24 months

J Am Diet Assoc. 1997 May;97(5):496-504. doi: 10.1016/S0002-8223(97)00129-6.


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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Bottle Feeding / statistics & numerical data
  • Breast Feeding / statistics & numerical data
  • Diet Records
  • Eating*
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Food*
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Minerals / administration & dosage
  • Nutrition Policy
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage


  • Minerals
  • Vitamins