The objective of this study was to determine food and beverage intakes of Irish pre-school children using data from the National Pre-School Nutrition Survey (NPNS) (2010–2011). A 4 day weighed dietary record was used to collect food and beverage intake data from a representative sample of 500 children aged 1–4 years in Ireland. The study is described in more detail on the Irish Universities Nutrition Alliance (IUNA) website( 1 ).
There is a notable change in dietary patterns with increasing age from age 1- 4 years. By age 4, dietary preferences and food habits which could lead to nutrient imbalance have emerged, such as, intake of whole milk instead of reduced fat milk, processed meats instead of fresh meat and white bread rather than brown/wholemeal. Intakes of soft drinks, fruit juices, biscuits and confectionery increased with increasing age. These findings will be useful in the development of food based dietary guidelines for pre-school children.
The project was funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine under the “Food for Health Research Initiative” (FHRI) 2007–2012