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To explore eating patterns and snacking among US infants, toddlers and pre-school children.
The Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS) 2008 was a cross-sectional national survey of children aged 6–47 months, weighted to reflect US age and racial/ethnic distributions. Dietary data were collected using one multiple-pass 24h recall. Eating occasions were categorized as meals, snacks or other (comprised of all feedings of breast milk and/or infant formula). The percentage of children consuming meals and snacks and their contribution to total energy, the number of snacks consumed per day, energy and nutrients coming from snacks and the most commonly consumed snacks were evaluated by age.
A national sample of US infants, toddlers and pre-school children.
A total of 2891 children in five age groups: 6–8 months (n 249), 9–11 months (n 256), 12–23 months (n 925), 24–35 months (n 736) and 36–47 months (n 725).
Snacks were already consumed by 37 % of infants beginning at 6 months; by 12 months of age, nearly 95 % were consuming at least one snack per day. Snacks provided 25 % of daily energy from the age of 12 months. Approximately 40 % of toddlers and pre-school children consumed fruit and cow’s milk during snacks; about 25 % consumed 100 % fruit juice. Cookies were introduced early; by 24 months, 57 % consumed cookies or candy in a given day.
Snacking is common, contributing significantly to daily energy and nutrient needs of toddlers and pre-school children. There is room for improvement, however, with many popular snacking choices contributing to excess sugar.
To compare estimates from one day with usual intake estimates to evaluate how the adjustment for within-person variability affected nutrient intake and adequacy in Mexican children.
In order to obtain usual nutrient intakes, the National Cancer Institute’s method was used to correct the first 24 h dietary recall collected in the entire sample (n 2045) with a second 24 h recall collected in a sub-sample (n 178). We computed estimates of one-day and usual intakes of total energy, fat, Fe, Zn and Na.
2012 Mexican National Health and Nutrition Survey.
A total of 2045 children were included: 0–5·9 months old (n 182), 6–11·9 months old (n 228), 12–23·9 months old (n 537) and 24–47·9 months old (n 1098). From these, 178 provided an additional dietary recall.
Although we found small or no differences in energy intake (kJ/d and kcal/d) between one-day v. usual intake means, the prevalence of inadequate and excessive energy intake decreased somewhat when using measures of usual intake relative to one day. Mean fat intake (g/d) was not different between one-day and usual intake among children >6 months old, but the prevalence of inadequate and excessive fat intake was overestimated among toddlers and pre-schoolers when using one-day intake (P<0·05). Compared with usual intake, estimates from one day yielded overestimated prevalences of inadequate micronutrient intakes but underestimated prevalences of excessive intakes among children aged >6 months.
There was overall low variability in energy and fat intakes but higher for micronutrients. Because the usual intake distributions are narrower, the prevalence of inadequate/excessive intakes may be biased when estimating nutrient adequacy if one day of data is used.
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