Topical Area: Maternal, Perinatal and Pediatric Nutrition
Objectives : Infant cereal consumption among 6-11.9 month old infants has declined from 72% in 2002 to 52% in 2016. This is especially concerning for breastfed infants since infant cereal is a top source of iron and other key nutrients. The purpose of this study is to determine how infant cereal consumption impacts nutrient intakes of breastfed infants.
Methods : FITS 2016 is a cross sectional survey of caregivers across the U.S. assessing food and nutrient intakes. A 24 hour dietary recall was administered to caregivers of children aged 0-47.9 months (n=3235). For this analysis, only infants aged 6-11.9 months who were either breastfed (no infant formula provided, n=296) or mixed fed (breastmilk and infant formula provided, n=102) were included. If any amount of infant cereal was consumed, the infant was considered a cereal user. Dietary supplements were excluded to determine usual nutrient intakes from diet only. Infants were categorized as a breastfed cereal user, breastfed non-user, mixed fed cereal user, or mixed fed non-user. The percentage of infants with dietary nutrient intakes below the adequate intake (AI) or estimated average requirement (EAR) were analyzed for significant differences between cereal users and non-users among breastfed and mixed fed infants using paired T-tests.
Results : Among breastfed infants, a significantly higher percentage of cereal users had intakes above the EAR or AI level for iron, vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin A, zinc, potassium, and choline compared to non-users (See Figure 1). Among mixed fed infants, a significantly higher percentage of cereal users had intakes above the EAR or AI level for iron, magnesium, and choline (See Figure 2). Most infants had inadequate intakes of vitamin D.
Conclusions : Breastfed and mixed fed infants who consume infant cereal are more likely to have adequate intakes of iron, choline, and magnesium than their non-infant cereal consuming counterparts. Among breastfed infants, infant cereal consumers are also more likely to consume adequate amounts of 12 other nutrients compared to non-users. Infant cereal is a source of many key nutrients and is an important complementary food, especially for breastfed infants.
Funding Sources : Nestlé Research Center, Switzerland